Regents' Outstanding
Teaching Awards

Michael R. Drew profile photo

Michael R. Drew, PhD

Assistant Professor

Center for Learning and Memory and Department of Neuroscience

College of Natural Sciences

UT Austin

I am so impressed with my students. They have so much potential and so many big ideas and aspirations. Whatever I accomplish as a teacher or researcher absolutely pales in comparison to the impact that our students will have on science and the world at large.

As a teacher of neuroscience, my first goal is for my students to develop a deep understanding of core principles of the nervous system that apply across different anatomical regions, species, and developmental stages. But an equally important goal is for students to learn to think and communicate like scientists. To me, thinking like a scientist means using data, experimentation, and observation to figure out how systems work. Communicating like a scientist means being able to clearly articulate how experiments and data support or refute a particular view, and being able to respond dispassionately to those who hold a different view. To achieve all of these goals, courses need to challenge students to apply what they’ve learned, plumb the limits of their knowledge, and interact with instructors and peers in the service of problem solving.