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Asst. Prof. Burak Ülgüt Receives Distinguished Teaching Award for 2021

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“The University is pleased to announce the recipients of the Distinguished Teaching Awards for 2021. They are: Lori Russell Dağ, Seçkin Köstem and Burak Ülgüt, along with Hossein Dabir, who passed away in December and is being presented with the award posthumously. The four awardees were chosen for demonstrating outstanding teaching abilities and for contributing to students’ academic and intellectual development.” (Bilkent News, 2021)

Asst. Prof. Burak Ülgüt’s statement:

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be receiving a 2021 Bilkent University Distinguished Teaching Award. First, I would like to thank my department chair Prof. Emrah Özensoy for nominating me, as well as all my colleagues and current and former students for their support in the nomination process. As a lifelong student, I have had many great teachers over the years, but a number of them deserve special mention. Mustafa Üstünışık has been an inspiration since high school; Prof. Şefik Süzer showed me that attention to detail and persistent questioning is the only way forward; and Prof. Héctor Abruña made me aware that motivated scientists generate new science and machines are merely tools. I am indebted to all of them for their impact on me. Teaching is meaningful only if the students develop as a result. This improvement needs to be constantly monitored, and teaching methods have to be modified accordingly. I would like to thank all my students at every level, who continuously teach me how to teach via actionable feedback. It is with their criticisms that I work on improving various aspects of my teaching. I strive to lay the foundations, open things up and challenge them to the best of my ability. In addition, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my family. I would like to thank my mother Melahat and my father Altan for being my first teachers, and my siblings Mustafa and Merve for being my first peers. Last but not least, I would like to thank my wife Nurten for sharing all the highs and lows life brings, and my son Tekin for neverending questions that constantly remind me how much more there is to learn.”