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Brian Leigh Recognized with Three University Honors

July 22, 2021 | By Mario Aguilera

071621-leigh.jpgBrian Leigh

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Assistant Teaching Professor Brian Leigh has been honored with three awards from UC San Diego. The awards highlight Leigh’s contributions as an outstanding teacher, faculty member and community member.

The honors include:

  • A 2021 Distinguished Teaching Award, one of five such honors awarded to academic senate members. The UC San Diego Academic Senate describes the Distinguished Teaching Award as a “tangible expression of UC San Diego’s commitment to excellence in teaching and to ensuring that this commitment is maintained. The Committee on Distinguished Teaching seeks to select those who exhibit creativity, innovative teaching methods, the ability to motivate students to actively seek out knowledge and an extraordinary level of teaching commitment.”
  • Election to the 2021-2022 Class of Revelle College Faculty Fellows. The Revelle Fellows Program was established in 2015 to recognize people who have made exceptional and sustained contributions to Revelle College students through education, service and research.
  • A 2021 UC San Diego Integrity Award. The annual Integrity Awards recognize outstanding contributions by UC San Diego faculty, staff and students in support of integrity and ethics—two of UC San Diego’s core commitments. Award winners are selected by a review committee comprised of faculty, staff and student representatives.

Leigh’s path to UC San Diego was unique. He started out as a wrestler at Arizona State University but a shoulder injury led to his taking time off from college. He moved to Portland and many years later continued his college career at Portland State University. While earning his BS in biochemistry, he encountered incredible mentors who encouraged him to continue his journey in education. He earned his PhD in chemistry from Caltech. He first taught at UC San Diego as a lecturer in 2014, then returned to work for the U.S. Government. When the opportunity to be a teaching professor came up, Leigh seized it so he could return to his passion of education.

Leigh credits his mentors and students for his path and success. Additionally, he is grateful for the efforts and contributions of many outstanding teaching assistants (TAs) in the department. Working with teams of talented graduate and undergraduate student TAs, he focuses on inclusion and learning as the top priorities in all his courses.