You try to build an environment that gets students excited about what they are learning in the classroom or the research lab.

"I thoroughly enjoy the balance between teaching and research," says Mitch Chernin, a molecular biologist. "That's why I came to Bucknell."

Chernin is noted for his work in hypertension and cancer research.

"You try to build an environment that gets students excited about what they are learning in the classroom or the research lab rather than look at it as drudgery where all that matters is the grade," he says. "And, I'll be honest, I have a very attractive job — genetic engineering, gene cloning, molecular biology — the field naturally draws good students."

As do Chernin's labs, where he includes students in his research. "I think I've had some of the best students at Bucknell working in my lab," he says, "and that's helped my career. Really, I couldn't do it without them."

Through his endowed chair, he has been able to obtain funds to send his students to national meetings. Over the years, many students have presented their findings on the role of genes in cardiac growth and the potential relationship between breast and bone cancer.

"Bucknell allows a superb give-and-take between students and teachers that really allows both to do the best they can," he says.

Updated March 15, 2010

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