Dr. Jason CHAN Kwan-Kit, Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), received the University Grants Committee (UGC) Teaching Award 2018 under the category of Early Career Faculty Members today, in recognition of his outstanding teaching performance and achievements.
HKUST President Prof. Wei SHYY congratulated Dr. Chan on winning the award, “HKUST is committed to fostering innovation, open-mindedness, and a can-do spirit. We strive to nurture a diverse and conducive culture to allow all our members to reach their full potential and achieve their aspirations, so that they can contribute to the society by conquering challenges that matter. I am very proud of Dr. Chan, whose innovation and dedication to teaching excellence earned him not only the recognition from his students and peers, but also this great honor at such a young age. I congratulate him sincerely for his outstanding accomplishments.”
Dr. Chan said at the award ceremony that he was deeply grateful for the recognition from UGC. “I am extremely grateful for all of the opportunities I have had in the past four years at HKUST. This academic position gave me the platform to make good use of my knowledge and talent to the service of our undergraduates. Whenever I am teaching or designing a course, I think of my students. What would be the most useful way for them to learn? How can my courses benefit them the most and what extra opportunities could I provide, to prepare them for the real world ahead? Looking ahead, this award will allow me to develop a new experiential learning course for our science undergraduate students, who will be challenged to think critically when faced with potentially dubious scientific claims in daily life.”
Dr. Chan was born in Hong Kong. He developed a profound interest in chemistry since junior secondary school and set up his own miniature laboratory at home. During his further studies in UK, he met the teacher who inspired him to mentor his junior peers through scientific experiments, laying foundation to his teaching career. He was later admitted by St John’s College at the University of Cambridge to study natural sciences, after attaining the highest score in UK’s A-level Chemistry examination. He obtained his doctoral degree in organic and biological chemistry from the University of St Andrews and joined HKUST in 2014, where he teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate programs including “Chemistry in Everyday Life”, “Macromolecular Analysis”, “Great Ideas in Chemistry”, “Teaching Science using Innovative Teaching Tools” and “Capstone Projects”. Recently, Dr. Chan has also been actively promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. He is good at explaining scientific theories in an easily comprehensible manner through experiments, he also allows students to choose their own topics of and submission format for their assignments, as part of their experiential learning experience. Dr. Chan’s lectures are very popular among students, his course “Chemistry in Everyday Life” has crowned him HKUST’s Common Core Teaching Excellence Award 2016.
Other than undergraduates, Dr. Chan is also dedicated to enhancing secondary school students’ knowledge and interest in chemistry by teaching in HKUST’s Summer Institute for secondary school students. He also offers these youngsters training in global science competitions such as The International Olympiad of Metropolises, in a bid to win glory for Hong Kong while grooming talents.
Dr. Chan is so passionate about teaching that he even moved his lectures onto big TV screens, explaining in TV programs common chemical phenomenon in a lively and easily-comprehensible manner to facilitate the popularization of science.
The UGC Teaching Award was launched in 2011 to honor academics of the UGC-funded institutions, for their outstanding teaching performance and achievements as well as their leadership and scholarly contribution to teaching and learning within and across institutions.
For more information about the UGC Teaching Award, please visit: http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201809/06/P2018090600419.htm .
About The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) (www.ust.hk) is a world-class research university that focuses on science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science. HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. HKUST attained the highest proportion of internationally excellent research work in the Research Assessment Exercise 2014 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee, and is ranked as the world’s best young university in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2018. Its graduates were ranked 12th worldwide and top in Greater China in Global Employability University Survey 2017.
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