Alex Boson  was awarded a Citation for Excellence in Teaching Chemistry for his work as a Chemistry 110 laboratory teaching assistant during the Fall 2016 semester.

This is Boson’s fourth semester teaching a Chemistry 110 lab, and to him, the award helps him know he’s on the right track

“It tells me I’m doing something right,” he said.

The Coordinator of General Chemistry, Professor Jason Katuz, said Boson has the ability to keep both sides of teaching in mind. “Alex has been able to approach teaching from both the student’s and instructor’s point of view. It has helped him become an outstanding instructor in our labs.”

Boson recommended that every TA take this approach. He said that TAs need to remember what it is like to be in the student’s position, and they need to meet the student where they are at. He said the key is to start at the beginning and work from there.

“It’s rewarding when I can explain something in a way that I can get some sort of message to them,” he said. To him, it doesn’t matter if the students are chemistry majors or not, there is always something to take away from studying chemistry.

“Chemistry happens every day,” he said. “There is something for everybody.”

Beyond his teaching duties, Boson also helped lab manager Jessica Periago analyze the current state of the labs, and he helped trouble shoot any of the issues.

Boson earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Nebraska in the spring of 2013, and he started working on a Master of Science in Chemistry in the fall of 2014. He is currently studying material sciences in Professor Alexander Sinitskii’s lab. 

After he earns his master’s degree, Boson hopes to attend dental school. Boson believes the ability to teach people about complex concepts, which he developed as a TA, will help him as a dentist. He has applied to the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry, as this Wisconsin native would love to stay in the Good Life state.

When Boson isn’t in the lab, he enjoys playing tennis and video games. He also spends a lot of his time volunteering for various organizations including the Special Olympics, Mission of Mercy, the Children’s Miracle Network, and others.

Boson is on track to graduate with his master’s degree in May 2017.