Meet Hong Zhan, Scientific Teaching Fellows Alum

Hong Zhan was a WISCIENCE Scientific Teaching Fellow in 2019 while working as a postdoc at Morgridge Institute for Research. Today, he is preparing to become a tenure-track research faculty member. He is a research investigator at the UW–Madison Institute for Molecular Virology and an assistant scientist at the John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe Center for Research in Virology at Morgridge Institute for Research. In his free time, he enjoys swimming, bowling, biking, traveling, and baking for family and friends.

What was your favorite part of the Scientific Teaching Fellows program?
I really enjoyed the teaching part of the program because I had a lot of opportunities to practice what I learned in the first part of the program. I was very happy to incorporate my personal style into the teaching phase.

What was one of the most valuable things you learned as a Fellow? 
The most valuable aspects of the program were being able to get closer to the students to understand what their needs were in class, and being able to work with other Fellows to prepare materials.

What is something surprising or unexpected you experienced as a Fellow?
It was very interesting to learn how to build our own syllabus and how to design different in-class activities. I was surprised by the program’s focus on students with very diverse backgrounds, which helped me to implement diversity methods.

How have you applied the skills and knowledge from this program in your career?
Currently, I implement my teaching materials mostly for biology researchers and scientists who have no experience in programming, and I developed in-class activities to engage all students in the class for imaging-processing in the workshop. 

What excites you about teaching? 
It is most exciting for me to make students actively engage in the classroom and to promote their active learning and encourage them to help each other.

What advice do you have for new Fellows coming into this program? 
I would highly recommend taking the program as a start and trying the methods you learn as a Fellow in your teaching practice.

Learn more about Scientific Teaching Fellows.