December 17, 2013 8:45 AM
Beth Wee was never a sorority person during her undergraduate years, so when the Tulane University neuroscience professor received word that she had been named one of Kappa Alpha Theta’s 10 Outstanding Faculty Members nationally for 2013, she chuckled at the irony.
It’s not that Wee, who attended the University of Illinois, disliked sororities. They just weren’t for her.
“I was a dorm kid,” says Wee, who in addition to teaching serves as associate dean for undergraduate programs at the Tulane School of Science and Engineering.
As a senior professor of practice, Wee knows far more sorority women than she did back then, and many of her students are members of Kappa Alpha Theta, which for the second year recognized faculty at colleges and universities where Theta chapters are present.
Chapters were asked to select one faculty member based on his or her passion for inspiring and mentoring students as well as such qualities as intellectual curiosity, leadership and commitment to service.
Melissa Herman, a Theta member, nominated Wee last spring just before graduating from Tulane with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience. Among other things, she cited Wee’s involvement with the Tulane University Neuroscience Association (TUNA), her volunteer work in the community and the respect she has for her students.
“Dr. Wee speaks to all students as if they were her peers and strives to create a comfortable, open, honest space where students can frankly express their joys and concerns with her. Dr. Wee is always a beacon of optimism, kindness, inclusiveness, charisma and knowledge. She is the epitome of leading by example.”
Wee, recipient of the Barbara E. Moely Service Learning Teaching Award in 2011, says she was humbled by this latest recognition.
“I was very honored to get it because there were only 10 in the country,” she says.
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