Nate McCrady, known by many as the UM assistant professor of astronomy who shares his love of the stars with visitors during the Blue Mountain Observatory public viewing nights, recently won the first University of Montana College of Arts and Sciences Award for Teaching Across the Curriculum.
McCrady, who joined the UM faculty in 2009, teaches large general-enrollment courses as well as upper-division astronomy and physics courses. His talent as an educator and seemingly unbound enthusiasm and energy have garnered him high praise from colleagues and students alike, who describe him as dedicated, challenging and involved.
“It is a rare gift for a teacher to be able to convince his students to work hard and enjoy doing so,” said Andrew Ware, chair of the UM Department of Physics and Astronomy. “Nate clearly has this gift.”
McCrady currently leads the department’s efforts to purchase a telescope as part of the planned MINERVA array at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory at Mount Hopkins in Arizona. The telescope will engage UM students in the cutting-edge search for exoplanets – planets outside our own solar system – from a remote observing lab on the UM campus.
The Award for Teaching Across the Curriculum was established to recognize a faculty member for his or her excellence in teaching at all levels. The award was created this year by the College of Arts and Sciences External Advisory Board.
For more information call UM College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean Jenny McNulty at 406-243-4458 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the MINERVA fundraising effort is available at http://cas.umt.edu/physics/minerva/.
Photo cutline: UM Assistant Professor Nate McCrady discusses the origins of the universe during an astronomy class. (UM Photo by Todd Goodrich)
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