Veronika Shoba received the Citation for Excellence in Teaching Chemistry for work as an Organic Chemistry recitation teaching assistant during the Fall 2016 semester. She has taught labs and recitations for Organic Chemistry I and II.
“I’ve been quite impressed with Veronika’s teaching abilities,” Dr. Jason Kautz, Coordinator of General Chemistry, said. “I frequently hear unsolicited comments from students that she is able to present complex materials in a way that is easy for them to understand. It’s an admirable skill to have.”
Shoba earned her bachelor’s degree from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv in Kiev, Ukraine. She attended school on a presidential scholarship, and she participated in national academic olympiads, where she would consistently finish in the top 10. Shoba enrolled in the graduate program at the University of Nebraska in 2013 after receiving a study abroad scholarship. She is currently studying organic synthesis in Professor James Takacs’ lab, and she was the recipient of the first ever Cliff S. Hamilton Graduate Research Award.
While working towards her Bachelor of Science, Shoba had to teach one month of high school chemistry, so she had some experience when she came to Nebraska that helped her prepare for her labs and recitations.
Seeing students improve is one of the most rewarding parts of teaching to Shoba, and she thinks it’s important to see that improvement. So what’s her secret to helping students succeed?
“Keep calm, explain, and ask for help,” Shoba recommended.
Shoba said that it can be intimidating teaching in a new country, but it was the communication between she and her students that helped her settle in. Being honest with students from the start is important.
“Be upfront with students, and ask for help ” she said. “Cultural exchanges can really help.”
Shoba enjoys sharing tidbits of the Ukrainian culture with her students, and she would ask questions about America when the topic was brought up. This helped her immensely while she was trying to learn about the American culture.
Beyond the walls of Hamilton Hall, Shoba enjoys spending time at the campus recreation center, and she also loves to travel.
“I feel like, ok, life isn’t always chemistry,” she said.
Shoba isn’t completely sure what she wants to do once she earns her Ph.D., but she knows she wants to continue to work in a research setting.