The Seaway Section is pleased to announce that Darren Narayan from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has been awarded the 2021 Clarence Stephens Award for Teaching Excellence.
The following excerpt is taken from The Seaway Current, Vol. 45, No. 1, written by Keary Howard:
Some of the highest accolades of Darren’s work were received from his students. He couples talented pedagogy with deep content knowledge. "Professor Narayan has this ability to perfectly set up reveals that blow your mind in class." Former student Chelsea Bennet writes, "Dr. Narayan not only guided me towards furthering my education, he has continuously been interested, involved, and cheered me on in my educational and professional journey." Transformational impact is a theme that became apparent in students’ testimonials. Meridangela Gutierrez Jhong was perhaps the most eloquent. "It took one person to make a difference in my life. Dr. Narayan provided me opportunities inside and outside of the class. These opportunities have remained with me in the most challenging times: I had to take a year off college to take care of my health; I have been exposed to racism, underestimated because of my accent, and thought incapable of achieving a goal. In those difficult times, I cherished my REU experience. I remembered being taught that I was valuable, that I had a different perspective, and that I can always achieve my goals if I put the work, humility, and dedication into them."
Faculty outside of Rochester echoed these sentiments, noting that Darren has made an indelible mark beyond the classroom. Michael Dorff of Brigham Young University commented, "His impact as an educator goes far beyond the RIT campus. Dr. Narayan has a passion for working with undergraduate students on research projects and has established a national reputation for promoting undergraduate research in mathematics." Within the department, Darren’s colleagues are appreciative of his relentless and positive spirit. RIT’s David Barth-Hart put it best: Darren Narayan loves teaching students, and it shows in everything he does . . . the value of Darren’s inspiration and effort are without measure. His "can-do" spirit infuses not only his teaching, but everything he does, and his students would not be where they are without him.
The evidence is clear and the committee is proud to present Dr. Narayan with the section’s prestigious teaching award in 2021.