Clinical Assistant Professor Juan Rojo does not just possess the timeless characteristics of an extraordinary educator–passionate, dedicated, collaborative, demanding but fair–but he also displays qualities uniquely suited for students in our current moment. Students refer to his patience, kindness, compassion, and preternatural ability to ease the stresses brought on both by complicated coursework and this evolving and uncertain time.
The effect of this skillset is exemplified by a comment from one of his students who said: “Everyone who comes from a background where many people have doubted them needs a professor like Dr. Rojo to remind them that they are capable of achieving greatness.”
The remarkable bigheartedness and support Dr. Rojo shows his students also extends to his colleagues. He regularly helps his peers in the Biomedical Sciences program become better instructors by sharing new teaching techniques that he learns because of his dogged pursuit of professional development.
Dr. Rojo teaches two large lecture courses with labs, General Microbiology, and Microbes in Human Disease, and two smaller courses, Molecular Diagnostics, and Mycology, Parasitology, and Virology. All four are filled with complex concepts, yet he consistently receives stellar evaluations from his students.
The high quality of General Microbiology and the biomedical sciences program as a whole have been praised by Dr. Rojo’s colleagues, with a nod to the classroom dynamics and teaching methods in all his classes. And at the start of the pandemic, Dr. Rojo also took the lead in moving the microbiology laboratories online in a manner that would best fit the needs of his students.
Dr. Rojo is a remarkable educator with an uncommon dedication to his craft. He is loved by his students and admired by his colleagues and well-deserving of this year’s Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.