Ghislain Deslongchamps   2007 University Teaching Scholar Award Recipient

It is with great pleasure that I read this citation for the awarding of the 2007 University Teaching Award to Dr. Ghislain Deslongchamps.

Ghislain began his career at UNB in 1992 after spending one year at Laval.  Upon joining the department he quickly established a nationally and international name for himself in the research field of molecular recognition.  In more recent years his research interests have expanded to include computer-assisted drug design.   Although this more traditional academic curiosity driven research forms the basis of Ghislain 's NSERC funded research, he always showed a strong commitment to teaching and learning and how we can help students learn more effectively.  This led him to focus much of his "other" time on the development of new computer-based visualization techniques for chemical education.  His "love" for merging new technologies with education has resulted in two significant developments over the past five years:  The first was the complete design and implementation of two new course offerings in chemistry, Biocomputing in Drug Design I and II.  These courses in themselves are two of the most highly popular upper level courses for both Science and Computer Science students; however, they also became the lynchpins for the development of the long awaited medicinal chemistry.  The second development was the successful marketing of his "Organic Chemistry Flashware".  This is a product that allows students in organic chemistry to visualize in real time and 3-dimensions the reactions that they are learning in their undergraduate organic classes.  Thompson publishing realized the potential worldwide impact of this software and provided Ghislain some financial resources in order to complete the project by the fall of 2006.  Feedback from some of my students who purchased access to the software has been VERY favourable.  This project was completely conceived, formulated and written by Ghislain himself and was a huge venture that consumed over 5 years of his "spare time".

Further testament to Ghislain's commitment to science education is the following: he has been invited to give presentations on various science education themes at 4 different Gordon Conference workshops (these are the most prestigious conferences in our field with only a limited number of attendees being invited), 2 presentations at the National Science Foundation (NSF) headquarters in Arlington, VA, 10 conference presentations and 11 invited lectures.  In addition, he is currently a co-investigator on a NSF-Mini grant to investigate how students visualize chemistry and how they make use of multimodal animinations.  These education endeavours have been financially supported by 2 Springboard grants and a grant from Thompson publishing.  This involvement with Thompson publishing has led to Ghislain  serving on their editorial advisory board.  On a more local level, Ghislain's teaching abilities have been recognized by our own students who recognized him in McLean's magazine as one of UNB's top professors.  Also, Ghislain has taken on the added responsibility of being a co-director of the Shad Valley program here at UNB.  Shad Valley is Canada's top education program for high-potential Grade 11-12 students.

In conclusion, I hope this abbreviated citation not only shows the tremendous achievements that Ghislain has accomplished in the area of science education but how efforts like this are being rewarded by UNB.  Ghislain is a truly a valuable member to the UNB family and his efforts in advancing science education in Canada will have a lasting effect on students not only at UNB but around the globe. Congratulations Ghislain!

Dr. David Magee

Professor, Chemistry

April 10, 2007