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Prize for Excellent Teaching: Teacher of the Year Award

Dr. Stanislav Chankov, Dr. Julia Timpe und Prof. Dr. Sebastian Springer won the Teacher of the Year Award. (Source: Jacobs University)


September 13, 2022
Commitment, creativity and innovation: these are the qualities that students at Jacobs University in Bremen attribute the Teachers of the Year Award to. The winners of the prize for outstanding teaching were announced during the Annual Opening Ceremony on September 1st, which marked the start of the new academic year.

Each year, students at Jacobs University Bremen nominate lecturers – professors, instructors or language teachers – whom they have found to be particularly committed and impressive during the academic year. Based on these nominations, the university committee selects three lecturers as the most outstanding of the year – not an easy task, considering the high academic quality, dedication, and heart and soul that characterizes the teaching of all faculty members. The award for the best teachers is presented at the ceremonial opening of the university's academic year on September 1st.

For the School of Science (formerly: Focus Area Health), Prof. Dr. Sebastian Springer was awarded Teacher of the Year: "He is a great mentor, teacher, leader, and also an amazing friend. He helps everyone beyond the expected level", his students wrote in Springer’s evaluation. The immense support as well as the responsiveness of the professor of biochemistry and cell biology was highlighted within the nomination – Springer always lends an open ear to students.

Promoting teamwork, teaching practical skills, using concrete examples and above all – inspire: that is what the scientist is all about. "For me, the greatest reward in teaching is when a student says: 'Wow – I never thought I could achieve that'," explained Springer. Recognizing potential and developing the abilities of his students is what drives him as well: "We train top students and give them the very best career opportunities”, said Springer, who also worked with biochemist and Nobel Prize Winner Randy Schekman.

Dr Stanislav Chankov is the winner of the Teacher of the Year Award for the School of Business, Social and Decision Sciences (formerly Focus Area Mobility). "His teaching skills and pedagogy are unparalleled in terms of keeping the students active throughout the class and engaging them in real time activities and on spot quizzes. He specifically teaches us the practical knowledge required to incorporate in the real world,” the university lecturer’s evaluation reads. The appraisal elaborated further, that he is “a dedicated instructor, who always tries his best to teach in the most understandable way possible.”

Chankov, who teaches in the Supply Chain Management Master's Program -among other subjects- attaches particular importance to using interactive elements in his teaching. "Teaching has always been my dream," said the lecturer, who used to study at Jacobs University himself. It is also important for him to think about the material from the students' point of view, and then to convey it in the best possible way.

Dr Julia Timpe received the Teacher of the Year Award for her innovative, committed teaching style: "She has shown how a structured, productive and supportive a classroom should look like. She is able to find the perfect balance between providing organization and allowing students to live up to their independent responsibility,” was stated on the written assessment made by her students. The university lecturer in Contemporary History also received the award for the School of Business, Social & Decision Sciences. Timpe's subject -International Relations: Politics and History- for which she also serves as Deputy Study Program Chair, previously belonged to the Focus Area Diversity. It is close to Timpe's heart that the students really take something away from the lessons. Therefore, she “applies innovative and creative ways to help her students understand and remember what she is teaching, her classes are very engaging,” her students say.

In addition to providing an engaging study environment, the lecturer makes sure her approach is always clear and comprehensible. She and the students have a common goal, Timpe mentioned, and that is to develop content together: "I want the students to understand why I do what I do - and to participate."  

All three teachers were visibly happy and honored to receive the award, which was accompanied by loud applause from the students. Jacobs University congratulates Prof. Dr. Sebastian Springer, Dr. Stanislav Chankov and Dr. Julia Timpe on this accolade and thanks the entire faculty for their tireless efforts to create a supportive, enriching, open and innovative learning environment for all students.