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Goergen Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

The Goergen Awards for Excellence in Teaching recognize the distinctive teaching accomplishments of faculty in Arts, Sciences and Engineering. They were established in 1997 and are named for and sponsored by University Trustee and Board Chairman Emeritus Robert Goergen ’60 and his wife, Pamela.

2017 Honorees

Thomas Brown

Thomas Brown

Professor of Optics

Since joining the institute faculty in 1987, Professor Brown has taught on both the graduate and undergraduate levels, established the Undergraduate Honors Research Program, and currently oversees an undergraduate program of approximately 80 students.

He received a College of Engineering award for excellence in undergraduate teaching in 1994. His professional affiliations have included the Optical Society of America, SPIE, and the Materials Research Society.

Brown has authored over 60 publications, 10 patents,3 book chapters,was an editor for the four-volume Optics Encyclopedia, and served as co-contributor of articles entitled Light and Polarized Light for the 2008 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia.

While at Rochester, Brown has conducted research in semiconductors, optoelectronics, optical fiber microstructures, optical polarization, and optical engineering. His early research focused on frequency-stable semiconductor laser design and silicon-based waveguide technology, including the first experimental observation of all-optical switching in a nonlinear Bragg reflector.

Professor Brown's recent research activities have included:

  • Focusing and coherence properties of polarization vortex beams
  • Optical vortices induced by stress birefringent elements
  • High Q resonators in SOI waveguides
  • Modeling and characterization of photonic crystal fibers
  • Optical properties of quantum amplified isomers for photopolymers

More information can be found at Professor Brown's faculty page.


Sina Ghaemmaghami

Sina Ghaemmaghami

Assistant Professor of Biology

Ghaemmaghami joined the University of Rochester faculty in 2012 and is the principle investigator in the Ghaemmaghami Lab. Through his lab Ghaemmaghami studies the mechanisms of protein folding and degradation within cells. He also investigates how cells maintain a balance between these two processes, and how this homeostasis is affected by disease and aging.

The projects in the lab draw on a number of disciplines including protein biochemistry, proteomics and computational biology. Current research areas include:

  • Development of proteomic methodologies for global analysis of cellular protein degradation
  • Uncovering the mechanism of selectivity in macroautophagy
  • Analysis of the kinetics and efficiency of cellular protein folding
  • Mechanistic studies of prion aggregate formation and characterization of novel anti-prion compounds

More information can be found at www.ghaemmaghamilab.org.


Katherine Mannheimer

Katherine Mannheimer

Associate Professor of English
Director for Graduate Studies

Mannheirmer joined the Department of English's faculty in 2006 after graduating from Yale with a PhD in comparative literature. At Rochester Mannheimer studies Restoration and eighteenth-century literature, with an emphasis on print culture, book history, and histories of reading.

Her published work has focused on such topics as the:

  • Use of page design in eighteenth-century satire
  • Ways in which early modern culture understood the relationship between gender and the readerly imagination
  • Tension between print technologies and pastoralism in John Gay’s poetry
  • Markings that Alexander Pope left behind in his personal copy of Ben Jonson’sWorks

Her first book, Print, Visuality, and Gender in Eighteenth-Century Satire: "The Scope in Ev’ry Page," argues that the Augustans used typography as a kind of pedagogical tool, training their readers in how to see and read.

Her current project examines the ways in which reading is depicted on the late-seventeenth- and early-eighteenth-century stage.

More information can be found at Professor Mannheimer's faculty page.