Donelan Receives 2022 Swenson-Bunn Memorial Award

The physics professor was presented with the award during the Honors Day convocation on Saturday, May 7.
Posted on May 25th, 2022 by

Physics professor Darsa Donelan, winner of the 2022 Swenson-Bunn Memorial Award, was also presented with the Mark H. Anderson Employee Award earlier this year at Diversity Ball.

Physics professor Darsa Donelan was presented with the 2022 Swenson-Bunn Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence during the Honors Day convocation on Saturday, May 7.

“The students giving me this award has really raised my self confidence,” said Donelan. “These students mean so much to me, and it warms my heart to know that I mean so much to them too.”

Based on student nominations, the award acknowledges a faculty member who embodies the qualities of excellence in their work at Gustavus. Since joining the Gustavus faculty in 2016, Donelan has taught a number of courses on physics and astronomy, teaching complex topics in a way that takes into account the needs of students.

“Darsa is always doing everything they can to help their students succeed,” said one student nomination, whether it be recording lectures for students to rewatch later or letting students practice the content with small groups during class.

Their attentiveness to students’ needs proved vital during the COVID-19 pandemic, when Donelan worked to give students Zoom accommodations and opportunities for in-person learning.

Outside of the classroom, Donelan continues to support students as an adviser for student organizations such as The Radicals, Queers and Allies, and A Moment of Magic. They are also a fierce advocate for indigenous relations.

“Having Darsa on campus has truly made my time at Gustavus memorable through their advocacy for the LGBT+ community and other marginalized groups,” a student wrote.

“Their compassion for their students and their love for teaching is abundantly clear, and they are incredibly well-deserving of this award.”

The Swenson-Bunn Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence is presented in memory of two Gustavus students and members of the Student Senate, Greg Swenson and Holly Bunn, who were tragically killed in a car accident in 1989. Every year, the Swenson-Bunn Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence is awarded to a member of the Gustavus Adolphus College faculty who embodies the qualities of excellence in their work at Gustavus.

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Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
jakin@gustavus.edu
507-933-7510

 

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