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Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award 2008-2009
Melissa Bush

Melissa Bush

Melissa Bush holds a bachelor degree in chemistry and a M.Ed. degree in adult learning from the University of North Florida.  Bush joined UNF’s faculty in 1996 as a Chemistry Laboratory Lecturer and currently teaches a diverse range of laboratory classes including General Chemistry I & II, Quantitative Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Environmental Chemistry. 


As an UNF alum, Bush finds it a gratifying experience to work with some of the same faculty members that taught her.  She is quick to credit this same faculty for inspiring her current teaching style, which includes the following attributes: having a genuine concern and care about students as individuals, an ability to clarify difficult subject matter in an understandable way, and being a motivator to students to give their best effort.  Bush finds that teaching in a laboratory setting, where the class size is considerably smaller than its lecture counterpart, is the perfect recipe for building stronger student relationships which, she feels, can ultimately enhance their success.


Bush has relied on her prior bench chemistry experience at two local laboratories to shape her Biochemistry and Environmental Chemistry laboratory classes into a real-world practical experience for her students.  Recent enhancements to her laboratory classes include developing Blackboard courses for each lab, serving as a contributing author on a laboratory manual, and creating a video series of lab experiments.


Bush has served a number of students through consistently providing academic/career advising, research mentoring, personal tutoring, and writing letters of recommendation.  As a hobby, she participates regularly in the UNF Intramural program with her students.


A review of Bush’s teaching evaluations over her 12 year tenure has shown a consistent demonstration of excellence across a wide variety of teaching disciplines and student level.  Her average ISQ evaluation for “overall rating of instructor” is 4.94, out of 5.00, during the past two academic years.  Additionally in 2007, she was ranked 7th in the nation amongst all professors in the inaugural “Rate My Professor” Top 50 list.  Bush was named a finalist for the Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2008 and a recipient of the award in 2009.