Todd Pagano ’96 has been named one of only four “U.S. Professors of the Year” by two prestigious higher education institutions.
The director of the Laboratory Science Technology Program at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester was recognized in the “Outstanding Master’s Universities and Colleges Professor” category. The institute is based out of the Rochester Institute of Technology, where Pagano is an associate professor of science and mathematics.
His award was presented Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C. Pagano was selected from more than 300 nominations.
“If you don’t have this burning passion to do anything that you can do to make a student understand a concept then you may not be approaching it with enough vigor,” Pagano told The Chronicle of Higher Education.
He is nationally recognized for his research in florescence spectroscopy that can help predict the formation of dangerous carcinogens in drinking water and map cancer-causing chemicals in cigarette smoke.
The U.S. Professors of the Year Awards Program, created in 1981, is the only national initiative specifically designed to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring. The awards are presented by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
John Lippincott, president of CASE, commended this year’s award winners for their “intentional, innovative and inspirational” approach to the classroom experience.
U. S. Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York praised Pagano as he entered news of his honor into the Congressional Record.