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Giving out Grades. Making the list.

Laura Pence returned to academia following her 2012-13 Congressional Fellowship sponsored by American Chemical Society. And what a return she made. Pence recently clinched #20 on MTV’s “Top Professors in the Nation” list as a chemistry professor at the University of Hartford.

Laura Pence

Laura Pence in Washington.

"She really was the best professor I ever had in college -- hands down. Show up, and listen, you'll learn!” commented one student. The Highest Rated University Professors of 2013-2014 list is based entirely on student feedback.

Since her days as a fellow in Sen. Michael Bennett’s (D-CO) office, Pence puts her policy know-how to work on campus. “My fellowship definitely had an impact on my teaching. I completely revamped my environmental chemistry course so that it has a considerable amount of policy woven in with the science,” she said. “I’ve always been frustrated that scientists often don’t think beyond the science, so I make sure that at the advanced level, students learn that economics and politics are important considerations in making decisions.”

Pence said that in another of her classes, “Every paper that the students have written has been something that a staff member would write for a Congressional office. It’s been very different for students to condense information into a one-page briefing memo or to present a balanced perspective for a vote recommendation, but they’ve really developed a taste for clear and concise writing.”