Roger Chang, Ph.D.
Instructor of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics
Excellence in Teaching Award from the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Virginia Tech
The award, presented by the center to approximately nine Virginia Tech faculty members each academic year, recognizes a faculty member's effective, engaged, and dynamic approaches and achievements as an educator.
Among the goals of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning are advancing experiential learning at Virginia Tech and improving student learning through research-based instructional practices and student-centered design. According to Chang, his approach to teaching covers two main aspects; “I go over theories and then solve examples with detailed explanations.”
Chang explained that his most meaningful experiences as a teacher are “being able to see the students succeeding in school and later having successful careers in life after graduation.”
Colby Overby, one of Chang’s former students, expressed the significant impact that Chang has had on his life at Virginia Tech. He said, “College was a massive struggle for me before I met Roger. He practically saved my academic career and taught me how to love what I do. Roger seems to be able to teach anything and will do whatever he can to help anyone who comes through his doors.”
Another one of Chang’s former students, Rishi Patel, also commented on Chang’s willingness to go beyond the call of duty to help his students. According to Patel, “Roger's dedication to his students coupled with his passion and natural gift for teaching is unparalleled. He takes time out of his day to listen to our struggles, and not only has he helped me become a better lifelong learner, but more fondly, he truly has become a role model that I will look up to throughout my undergraduate career.”
Oscar Johansson has taken three courses with Chang and described his experience as, “always engaging.” Johansson elaborated by saying, “I felt that I was able to truly understand the material from the examples he gave. He also did a fantastic job at showing how we might be able to apply the concepts covered in class to design teams and engineering work in industry.”
According to Johansson, Chang's commitment to his students does not end when class does. He said, “When Roger is not teaching class, he is in his office ready to help anyone with questions they may have, even if they aren't in his classes. His patience, understanding, and passion for teaching is truly unmatched. He is the only professor I know of who will stay in his office past 7pm Monday-Friday helping students with their assignments.”
Johansson also expressed how Roger has helped him and possibly many other students in the engineering major. “I hope to one day find a job that I love as much as Roger loves his. I think I speak for many who currently have Roger, and have had Roger in the past, when I say he is one of the main reasons we make it through engineering,” Johansson said.
Chang provided the following advice for new college teachers: “Love your job! It's hard to teach well without passion.”