Q&A with 2015-16 Outstanding Faculty Award (Teaching) honoree
…Associate Professor of Civil Engineering Chandramouli Viswanathan Chandramouli
This is the fourth in a series of Q&A profiles focusing on PNW’s six 2015-16 Outstanding Faculty Award recipients. Associate Professor of Civil Engineering Chandramouli Viswanathan Chandramouli earned Outstanding Faculty honors for Teaching. Remaining Q&A profiles will be published in subsequent Points of Pride issues.
Q: What subject matter do you teach, and how long have you served Purdue Northwest/Purdue Calumet?
CVC: I specialize in water resources and environmental modeling. I began serving at Purdue Calumet in 2008.
Q: How do you define outstanding teaching?
CVC: Outstanding teaching involves creating a very friendly, motivating learning environment for students—even with respect to very challenging subject material—using research, real world examples and hands on training. I carefully blend field research data into my teaching whenever possible.
Outstanding teaching also goes beyond the classroom. A teacher should be kind and caring, as well as become an example to make a strong impact on students. An outstanding teacher also cultivates the critical thinking ability related to the subject matter and makes students realize the importance of organized effort needed to succeed in their career.
Q: What fuels your passion to be the best teacher you can be?
CVC: Three essential motivators fuel my passion. First are students who are energetic and extremely keen to learn; such students energize me to give my best. Second is the research I have had opportunities to conduct within the great Purdue system; it makes me realize the importance of well-trained engineers for our future requirement. Third is the motivation I have derived from my faculty colleagues and teachers.
Q: What is the best advice you have received that has motivated or encouraged you as a faculty member?
CVC: My research advisor and my family provided me important advice that remains fresh on my mind always. That advice is: Students are your children. We should always give 100 percent without compromising even 0.01 percent.
Q: How do you approach teaching to maximize effective learning by all your students?
CVC: By creating a very friendly, motivating environment to students, I attempt to reach out to all my students. I strongly encourage classroom interactions. Students can reach me through email, and I will make myself available to students through help sessions on weekends during exam weeks. I will also mentor them and provide user friendly lecture materials.
Q: How have you changed as a teacher during your years in higher education?
CVC: Teaching requires continuous evolvement. Over the years, I used the newest technological resources to improve my teaching and also to improve my teaching methodology. I also attempted to use the latest technology in my research.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about teaching in higher education?
CVC: Teaching and research are inseparable in higher education. At Purdue Northwest, I am fortunate to involve many undergraduate and graduate students in research to generate materials from this region. I use what is generated for classroom teaching in different courses.
Providing quality teaching gives a soul satisfaction, because it results in the development of good engineers to serve our country. When we see our students prosper, and when we hear good things about our successful alumni, it is most rewarding.