- President's Award for Distinguished Teaching (2003)
Essential to good teaching is the ability to see things from the student’s point of view. Doing this requires no stretch of imagination for Elaine Haub. “In August of 1983,” she recalls, “I was sitting in the same classroom waiting to take a chemistry course. Ten years later, I returned to IU Southeast as a visiting assistant professor of chemistry. I always stress to my students that I came from a rural high school, and that I was, like many of them, a first-generation college student. One day, one of them may be telling his or her story to a college chemistry class.”
Though this story undoubtedly increases her students’ self-confidence, it’s the experience of studying under Haub’s guidance that shapes their futures in science. Heather Hill, a student of Haub’s as well as her laboratory assistant, found a new direction in life through Haub’s teaching. “Going into C106, I was an accounting major,” Hill said. “By the end of the course and after some advising from Dr. Haub, I realized that accounting was not my passion, so I changed to chemistry and have not looked back.”
One factor in Haub’s teaching success is her ability to relate chemical concepts to everyday things. And while making chemistry accessible, Haub also holds high expectations for her students’ performance, and they respond admirably. She routinely administers the American Chemical Society’s standardized subject exams in her major-level courses, and her students score above the national median.
Haub continually publishes articles both on college teaching methods and on her research. She also spends innumerable hours in outreach activities.