“A master researcher and a master teacher at all levels,” as one of her colleagues describes her, Professor Liz Allison shares with her students her excitement about scientific research and the thrill of discovering new things. Despite what students call her “tough but stimulating” and often very long exams, her students find her classes enjoyable, invigorating, and rewarding. Professor Allison demonstrates her concern for teaching in all its aspects. Dissatisfied with the quality of teaching materials in molecular genetics, she wrote her own textbook, which has since become one of the leading texts in the field. More than 65 students have been her research assistants over the past ten years, many of them co-authoring papers with her. Dozens of her former students have gone on to further study at medical schools, doctoral programs, dental schools, or veterinary medical schools.
Professor Allison’s success in teaching and advising has been accompanied by continued success in winning major research grants and carrying out service to her department and the College, including serving as Director of Graduate Studies and Chair of the Department of Biology, as Co-Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council, and as a member of numerous committees in Arts & Sciences and the College. For her commitment to teaching, advising, and mentoring, Professor Allison has won many awards and honors: Grace J. Blank Teaching Award in Biology, Alumni Fellowship Award, Dorman Family Professorship, Margaret L. Hamilton Professorship, Advisor of the Year, and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences is pleased to add this award to that distinguished list.
It is appropriate to have one of the master teachers in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences be an inaugural winner of the Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.