Jenn Goodnough earns Alumni Association Teaching Award

Sue Dieter

University of Minnesota Morris Associate Professor of Chemistry Jennifer Goodnough has earned the 2023 UMN Morris Alumni Association Teaching Award. This award honors individual faculty members for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education by calling attention to educational philosophies, objectives, and methods. 

Goodnough was nominated for this award because she is, according to the nominating committee, “an exceptional educational leader, an extraordinary teacher, and a lifelong advocate for her students, and that she embodies what we intend to be at the University of Minnesota Morris when we envision ourselves as a liberal arts institution.” 

In her teaching statement, Goodnough states her love of chemistry, teaching, and working with students. “I have high expectations for my students, and in turn, they should have high expectations of me. I want to teach them to the best of my ability and to have them discover their own abilities. This means my students should not expect me simply to provide them with answers. I want the students to make an investment of their own time and effort in finding the solutions. The reward when a student figures out how to solve a problem on their own is priceless to both the student and teacher.”

Former students agree that Goodnough’s interest in their education was genuine, allowing them to cultivate skills in critical thinking and problem-solving, and equipping them to take on challenges beyond the classroom.  “I was learning ideas I had never learned before. Now four years later, I feel like a new person. Not because of my increased knowledge of chemistry, biology, and mathematics, but because of my change in perspective and how I see the world. Life is a journey and is full of problems to be solved.” 

A member of the chemistry faculty since 2002, Goodnough has a bachelor’s degree from Saint Francis University and received a PhD from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

About the UMMAA Teaching Award 

The University of Minnesota Morris Alumni Association established the UMMAA Teaching Award in 1997 to honor individual faculty members for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. Learn more at