Professor Brett VanVeller received the Cassling Family Award for Early Achievement in Teaching
Brett VanVeller, assistant professor of chemistry, received the Cassling Award for Early Achievement in Teaching. The award recognizes an early career faculty member with outstanding teaching performance.
VanVeller’s students describe him as “passionate,” “enthusiastic,” and “charismatic.” He holds innovative office hours in a large conference room where students gather to discuss and work through problems together and have student-led discussions. At the graduate level, he has restructured a foundations course to accelerate the research productivity of first-year graduate students.
“Brett’s emphasis to build upon concepts and examine the ‘how’ and
‘why’ is an eminently sound approach to help students succeed, not only
in the difficult subject of organic chemistry, but in other courses as
well,” said Gordon Miller, University Professor in chemistry. “He is
highly respected and admired by students for his energy, clarity, and
passion, and his faculty colleagues are adapting their own philosophies
of student-instructor interaction based on some of Brett’s ideas.”
The Cassling Awards were donated by Randal S. and Lori S. Cassling, in honor of Randal’s parents, Robert and Rita Lenore Dunn Cassling. Robert Cassling was a 1956 graduate of Iowa State University while Rita attended Iowa State and was a former homecoming queen.