Smith and Dang Honored for Teaching Excellence

Smith (right) was joined by her graduate adviser, Beth Lopour, at the awards banquetMay 9, 2018 – The UC Irvine Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation recognized two Samueli School affiliates − Rachel June Smith and Quoc-Viet Dang − for excellence in undergraduate teaching at the 25th annual UC Irvine Celebration of Teaching in April.

Smith, a biomedical engineering doctoral candidate, was one of two doctoral students campuswide selected for the 2018 Most Promising Future Faculty Award by UCI’s Senate Council on Teaching, Learning and Student Experience; Graduate Division; Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation; and Division of Teaching & Learning. She received a dissertation fellowship and fee waiver, as well as an engraved award.

“I was incredibly shocked and deeply humbled when I learned I had received the Most Promising Future Faculty Award,” said Smith, whose graduate adviser is Assistant Professor Beth Lopour. “I am so grateful to the Graduate Division for their financial support, and I am extremely motivated through this experience to keep pursuing excellence in teaching, research and service to prepare myself to educate the next generation of scholars.”

Dang was selected as the Samueli School's Dean's Honoree for Excellence.

When she is not teaching, Smith researches biomedical signal processing, specifically in a form of pediatric epilepsy called infantile spasms. She develops computational tools to analyze the brain signals of infants diagnosed with this condition, and hopes that comparing their brain signals to those of healthy infants can help doctors predict which babies will respond to treatments that could give them the best chance at a normal life.

Dang, assistant professor of teaching in electrical engineering and computer science, was named the Samueli School Dean’s Honoree for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. He joined the Samueli School faculty last fall and is engaged in pedagogical research in the field of e‐learning and data analysis. He was ecstatic when learning that he was selected as the school’s honoree. “Although we don't teach for awards, it is nice to be acknowledged,” he said.  

- Anna Lynn Spitzer

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