Evans wins BOG award

The fifth annual Awards for Excellence in Teaching, presented by the Board of Governors of the UNC system, honored Carolina's Slayton A. Evans, Jr. for his commitment to improving science education for future generations.

 Evans has been a member of the faculty since 1974 in the Department of Chemistry. He was named Kenan professor of chemistry in 1992. His many awards include a Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1994 and the Chancellor's Award in Undergraduate Teaching in 1998.

Evans has been internationally recognized as an expert on organophosphorous chemistry and has taught and made many presentations around the world. In addition, he has published nearly 100 research articles.

Evans' teaching style is what most say sets him apart in the classroom. He is described as being a tough, fair and "magical" teacher who demands extraordinary work from his students. He has taught chemistry courses enrolling up to 300 students and is still known as very approachable and warm, treating the students as colleagues.

One former student of Evans who still goes to him for advice said, "Slayton never simply tells me what I should do. He helps me understand the dynamics of the situation, the consequences of the various options and he enables me to create a solution with confidence. I always walk away from a discussion with Slayton feeling invigorated, with renewed focus and energy, ready to conquer the world."

Students also feel that his relaxed style of teaching is what makes him so excellent. Often before lecturing, he tells the class stories of his own life, such as his first experiments as a budding chemist with rocket explosions in his backyard and his experiences in a semi-professional basketball league. His students feel that his enthusiasm is contagious.

Evans has made many contributions to the University. He has chaired the Pogue Scholarship Committee since 1988 and was a member of the Morehead Selection Committee for many years.

He served on Faculty Council and was a member of the Chancellor's Committee on Faculty Development, the Undergraduate Admissions Committee, the Committee on Athletics and the Chancellor's Advisory Committee.

He has made major contributions nationally and internationally, serving as an adviser and reviewer on educational programs and research for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and multiple academic institutions and organizations.

Evans defines his many contributions when he says, "It is important that as academic scientists, we attempt to relate the importance of what is done in science to pertinent societal issues. In this way, the public can be assured that its investment is likely to have some impact on improving the quality of life in this country and that students understand how research activities can be influential in this area."

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