Mónica Barra, recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, 2017


Monica Barra
As current Chair of the department of Chemistry’s curriculum committee, Mónica Barra has had a lasting influence on students and faculty alike. Barra is highly recognized by her students (past and present) for her enthusiasm, patience, and passion for the course material. One alumnus noted that her lectures were “interactive and stimulating,” and that her lecture notes were “written in such a way that it was easy (and even fun) to follow along.” This, coupled with her expansive knowledge of the course content, is said to have made students “enamoured with her.” Colleagues wrote that Mónica “is a highly dedicated and caring teacher who goes way beyond the call of duty to help students learn and succeed.” This is evident in her work as Chair, as one lecturer highlighted that her leadership has reduced “the excessive workload that students faced in the third year of the program,” which will “benefit students for generations to come.” Barra has been a recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including the ChemClub Periodic Table of Teaching Excellence Award (an award presented annually by undergraduate students), and the Excellence in Science Teaching Award.