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Guo given UNC’s Distinguished Teaching Award

UNC has honored Professor Shenyang Guo with a 2010 Distinguished Teaching Award for Post-Baccalaureate Teaching and Mentoring.

A faculty member 2002, Guo’s field of expertise includes quantitative research methods, program evaluation, longitudinal data analysis, child welfare and welfare policies.

“My teaching philosophy has grown from my experiences as a student, learning from some of the great minds in my fields,” said Guo, quoted in the Gazette newspaper. “For me, teaching presents an exciting opportunity to open windows of the mind. I challenge my students to be critical thinkers – to question existing explanations, to evaluate evidence and to develop alternative arguments. Whereas research makes simple issues complicated, I believe the goal of teaching should be the opposite: to make complicated issues simple.”

In his award citation, Guo’s students describe him as a “maestro” for his masterful teaching of difficult quantitative methods and his caring and supportive interactions with them. Guo can transform even a highly fearful student into one who can relax with and enjoy data analysis. One student wrote, “My anxiety level skyrocketed the first day of Dr. Guo’s regression analyses methods class. Dr. Guo picked up on my anxiety and gently encouraged me. By the end of the semester I had become hooked on statistics. He is recognized as a teacher who loves what he does and wants his students to feel an equivalent excitement.”