Dr. Francis Burns, assistant professor of chemistry, is the recipient of the 2022 John J. Duffy Excellence in Teaching award from the University of South Carolina. The award recognizes a Palmetto College faculty member who demonstrates outstanding teaching.
"Dr. Burns cares deeply about students, something he demonstrates in a variety of ways, especially through a research agenda in which he takes a studied approach to determining the best practices for enhancing student success,” Dr. Bryan Love, associate dean for academic and student affairs, said. “His development of the UofSC forensic chemistry course for the Salkehatchie campus, as well as his role in earning a grant to outfit the lab, have been important. The course is a key academic asset that is extremely popular with students."
Through his excellence in teaching, Dr. Burns has empowered students and improved their success. His course designs utilize technology and engage students to actively participate in their learning. He uses a variety of pedagogical methods such as flipped classrooms, online formative assessments and student journals. He has shared his knowledge with colleagues on his campus, in the system, and in his profession through pedagogical presentations.
“My teaching philosophy stems from my life’s philosophy: ‘I will use my gifts in the service of others.’ I teach tomorrow’s professionals. As a result, I am privileged to teach chemistry and forensic science at USC Salkehatchie,” Burns said. “I thank my mentors and colleagues, who have supported my teaching. I thank my students, who taught me important lessons about learning.”