Bolch named 2022-2023 HWCOE Teacher/Scholar of the Year

Dr. Wesley Bolch, Distinguished Professor and UF Term Professor in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, was named Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering Teacher/Scholar of the Year for 2022-2023.

Faculty members are nominated by students, faculty, and staff. Nominees were judged based on their excellence, effectiveness, and innovation within the classroom.

As the oldest and most prestigious award offered to UF faculty, this award seeks to honor the faculty member whose scholarship or creative activity is recognized both nationally and internationally as innovative and pacesetting and whose teaching and mentoring are both exemplary.

Dr. Wesley Bolch’s statement on his education goals:

There are four elements to my approach to student teaching and mentoring. The first is focused recruitment. Roughly two-thirds of my graduate students were initially undergraduate nuclear engineering and, more recently, biomedical engineering students at UF. For these students, I work out a detailed plan for their research projects – many as University Scholars – and pair them with one or more senior Ph.D. students. This approach provides benefits both to the undergraduate mentee and to the graduate student mentor. The second element of my approach to student mentoring is thesis/dissertation structure and focus. Many years ago, I adopted the European style of the dissertation – a sequence of targeted journal articles in which each is tied to a given dissertation-specific aim. The third element of my approach to graduate mentoring is fostering communication skills. I give my students ample opportunities to hone their written and oral communication skills, noting to them that of all the skill sets they will acquire upon graduation, communication skills are fundamental and career directing. The fourth and final element of my approach to student mentoring is personal interest and encouragement. I strive to know my students in all respects, not just from an academic perspective but as a person with individual and personal interests and life challenges.

From Dr. Christine Schmidt:

Dr. Bolch is an international leader in the field of radiation dosimetry and Director of UF’s Advanced Laboratory for Radiation Dosimetry Studies. To date, he has chaired 54 Ph.D. committees and 73 MS committees, demonstrating an exceptional commitment to graduate education and training. Dr. Bolch has developed numerous courses in radiation dosimetry and protection, and his teaching evaluations are consistently very strong. Dr. Bolch is an integral, highly valued member of our team and a key senior leader for the department. He has demonstrated excellence and significant recognition in all categories expected of faculty – research, teaching and service.

Outside of education, Dr. Bolch has an outstanding research portfolio and an international reputation. Over the past decade, Dr. Bolch’s research has focused on developing 3D anatomical models of patients for retrospective and prospective assessment of radiation dose and cancer risk associated with radiotherapy and diagnostic imaging.

Dr. Bolch has served as Associate Dean from 2014 – 2017 and has played an integral role (including chair) for several years in the Nuclear Reactor Safety Subcommittee, The Radiation Control Committee, and as a member of the UF Shands Cancer Center. He is currently a faculty senator and member of several BME committees. Dr. Bolch is a senior leader and role model for our growing and maturing department. He is active in young faculty mentoring and has assisted many times in our professional development workshops provided for our junior faculty.

Congratulations, Dr. Bolch!