Saulnier Wins Distinguished Teaching Award

Posted on June 1st, 2006 by

Paul Saulnier, 2006 Edgar M. Carlson Award recipient

Paul Saulnier, 2006 Edgar M. Carlson Award recipient

Paul Saulnier, professor of physics at Gustavus Adolphus College, received the 2006 Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching during the College’s commencement ceremony on May 28.

“Student after student comments on [his] remarkable ability, in lectures, research projects and conversations, to take complex tasks and subjects and break them into clear sequences and comprehensible elements,” said Rob Gardner, the 2005 Carlson Award winner, in his introduction of the 2006 winner.

Saulnier, in addition to teaching classes ranging from general physics to quantum mechanics, established an advanced optics research laboratory at Gustavus, working with more than 30 undergraduate research associates on numerous projects. He has also created a January Interim Experience course on the history and art of science fiction and a First Term Seminar on the relationship between science and science fiction.

One colleague said, “Students are eager to take a course from him, not because they think it will be easy, but because they know they will learn a great deal from a mentor who is extremely knowledgeable; who will hold them accountable to learn and to achieve; and who will be there for them whenever and however they need help.”

“If I just wanted to ‘do physics’ or ‘earn money’ Gustavus is not where I would be, for I certainly could have chosen other career paths that would have offered me more of each of these,” said Saulnier. “I am at Gustavus because I feel a strong personal sense of service. Here, I have the opportunity to serve students, colleagues — both inside and outside of my department, my profession, and my own curiosity.”

A member of the Gustavus faculty since 1993, Saulnier received his bachelor of science in physics and electrical engineering magna cum laude from the University of Hartford, graduating in three years. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Delaware.

The Edgar M. Carlson Award was established in 1971 by the Gustavus Board of Trustees to honor former president Edgar Carlson for his years of distinguished leadership and in recognition of his commitment to academic excellence. Each year at commencement, a member of the Gustavus faculty is selected by a committee of faculty, administrators, and students for exceptional skill and effectiveness as an instructor.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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