HIGH POINT, N.C., May 9, 2018 – Dr. Meghan Blackledge, assistant professor of chemistry,received the Meredith Clark Slane Distinguished Teaching-Service Award during High Point University’s 2018 Commencement ceremony. The award is named for Meredith Clark Slane, a friend to the university, and has been given annually since 1973 to recognize excellence in teaching.
Blackledge was brought to HPU along with professors Andrew Wommack and Pamela Lundin to redesign the organic chemistry program. The high-stakes organic chemistry class is required of all pre-professional health students and is often considered the most difficult class students take.
In her four years at HPU, Blackledge has mentored 16 students in research. She manages several projects and multiple students every semester, giving each student the time and attention necessary to develop into strong, independent scientists. She and her students have presented their work in multiple venues, including the national American Chemical Society conferences. Her students are top performers on the ACS Organic Chemistry Exam.
“Working with students in the classroom and in my laboratory is the absolute highlight of my position, and their enthusiasm and tenacity inspire me to work just as hard and enthusiastically,” says Blackledge. “As an educator, I strive to meet my students where they are and then challenge them to grow into independent thinkers and scientists. I hope that when they leave my classes they have the confidence to think critically and tackle challenges head on. The skills needed to succeed in organic chemistry are the same skills needed to succeed in life – hard work, grit, critical thinking and analysis, and the knowledge that even if you don’t know the right answer at first, you know the steps to get there in the end.”
HPU Provost Dr. Dennis Carroll, who presented the award, says Blackledge is recognized for her ability to relate to her students and draw out the best in them.
“Dr. Blackledge is a stellar faculty member. She teaches a difficult subject well, and her students succeed at incredibly high levels,” says Carroll. “She is totally dedicated to her students, and they realize what a treasure she is.”
Blackledge came to HPU in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. from Duke University. She maintains an active research and scholarly agenda and serves on numerous university committees, including her service as a faculty justice on the student Honor Court.