Junior Henry Zurn talks about his English and political science majors and shares some stereotypical behaviors. Read Zurn's Q&A
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2015-16 Graduate and Professional Teaching Award Winner
Randall H. Victora
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Randall Victora’s path to academia was unconventional: After taking his Ph.D., he worked for Kodak Research Laboratories before coming to the University.
But it didn’t take long for him to make an impact on the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He revitalized its program in magnetics and advised many graduate students who now lead magnetics research in the nation and abroad.
As director of graduate studies for ECE, Victora introduced innovations that have enhanced the visibility and competitiveness of ECE’s graduate program. When he arrived at the University, for example, a colleague recalls that the ECE magnetics program was in “disarray.” Victora’s hard work is credited with reversing this and other downward trends.
I have worked hard throughout my academic career to educate our students both directly through coursework and advising research, but also by facilitating their path and thus removing barriers to their success.—Randall H. Victora
That hard work included voluntarily creating and mentoring a magnetics journal club, where every week stud-ents present talks on recent journal articles in the field and other students respond and ask questions. In short order, the club was attracting grad students and instructors from several disciplines within the department.
But it is as a teacher and mentor that Victora has had the most effect on ECE. Says a colleague who asked if she could sit in on a graduate class Victora was teaching in magnetism and magnetic materials, “I was impressed by his ability to break complex topics into simpler components … He learns each student’s name and calls on them throughout the semester—a daunting habit for the students, but they do come to class prepared!”