Jingzhi Lu was awarded a Spring 2017 Citation for Excellence in Teaching Chemistry for his contributions as a teaching assistant. He has taught Chemistry 109, 110, and 113. While appreciative of the award, Lu was quick to add that he received some help with winning it.

                “I appreciate the help from Jessica Periago and Dr. Jason Kautz,” Lu said.

                The appreciation goes both ways.

                “Jingzhi is always willing to go the extra mile for his students. He’s dedicated to learning new teaching methods, which helps his students gain a better understanding of the concept being taught,” Dr. Kautz, Coordinator for General Chemistry, said.

Lu, a fifth-year graduate student from Beijing, China, said the key to being a successful teaching assistant is to stay interested and passionate about teaching.

“I like to teach, so it’s easy for me,” Lu said. “Teaching is an interesting job, because you get to work with students.”

 Many of the students Lu works with aren’t chemistry majors, so helping them understand the importance of chemistry is one of his goals. To Lu, all sciences depend on chemistry in some way, so students should have an understanding of chemistry’s interaction with the different sciences.

Lu’s interest in teaching dates back to his years as an undergraduate in Nanjing, China. For two years, he coached his department’s women’s basketball team, and he led the intramural team to a silver medal.

“Their skill was good, but they just needed a strategy to improve their game,” Lu said.

Lu’s research is focused on photo catalysis in Dr. Jian Zhang’s lab. He is currently working on designing a new photocatalytic system based on his group’s design concept for the new catalyst.

Upon graduating next year, Lu plans to look for a postdoctoral position, but his long-term goal is to work in the chemical industry.