Loeb Named DEF Educator of the Year
Robert Loeb, associate professor of biology and forestry, has been named the 2013 DuBois Educational Foundation (DEF) Educator of the Year. Nominations for the award come straight from the students themselves, and each year the DEF presents the award to a Penn State DuBois faculty member who has made a difference in the lives of students.
Loeb has taught at Penn State DuBois for more than 25 years. He teaches introductory biology, ethnobotany and biogeography, including both face-to-face and online sections. His long standing research program focuses on urban forests and undergraduate students are consistently members of his research team. Recent awards include recognition as a Senior Ecologist from the Ecological Society of America, and as a Kenan Fellow of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens.
Besides his classroom duties, Loeb serves as the academic advisor for biology students, assisting them with scheduling classes, and providing job and graduate school guidance. He represents Penn State DuBois as an elected representative on the University Faculty Senate, serves on the campus Promotion and Tenure Committee and the Faculty Affairs Committee.
DEF Secretary Bob Johnson presented the award to Loeb. He also shared some comments from students who nominated Loeb for the award.
One student said, "Dr. Loeb is one of the most outstanding teachers I have had the pleasure to be around. He continues to remind me every day that biology is such a huge part of our very existence and that by completing my major I will be able to help create future teachers, ecologists, and doctors. He was the professor that inspired me and motivated me. His method of teaching made me feel like I was connected to the material. His uplifting personality makes him that much easier to listen to."
Another student nominated Loeb, saying, "Dr. Loeb challenged me in ways that I enjoyed, by asking me to think deeply and critically about everything that I was learning. I began to understand things genuinely instead of just storing the information periodically to pass his tests. He always got the class involved by asking us to participate in discussion questions that led to intriguing conversation. He often explained how our attitude towards our schooling reflected our personality and related to our life goals, and that the habits and regularities that we were developing at the time would impact our lives in the future, which motivated me to be the best student and person that I could be."
Loeb was moved by the words of his students and the efforts they took to nominate him for the Educator of the Year Award.
"It's always been my greatest pleasure to teach Penn State DuBois students," Loeb said. For me, it's truly a special recognition to receive this award because it is based on the students' learning and their enjoyment of my classes."