While it may seem backward to some, ISE professor Binil Starly enjoys teaching because he enjoys learning. The ability to teach a variety of courses allows him to Better understand new and emerging technology areas. Starly’s passion for learning, teaching, and enhancing education has earned him an NC State Outstanding Teaching Award, a prestigious award recognizing excellence in teaching at all levels.
Passion, Starly believes, is the core of what makes a teacher good. “Show passion for the subject. Students perceive the passion with which a teacher teaches a particular subject and the thoughtfulness placed into the lecture content, exercises, and feedback provided,” he said. ISE emeritus professor Richard Wysk, whose book on computer-aided manufacturing Starly read as an undergraduate, shares the innovative methods Starly uses to involve students in class activities – particularly when content can be dry and boring. “Use of class discussion, Think-pair-share activity, use of sketches, even a cookie tasting exercise highlight ways in which students can better engage with course material,” he recalled. “His use of 10-minute videos to complement his in-class lecture was available even before the pandemic. It is a practice adopted by many other ISE faculty.”
Showing passion for the subject enables students to enjoy the learning process and ensures that the material is constantly improved. “I see my classes that I teach as a product that I deliver,” Starly explained. Like with any good product, he goes through iterations and processes to continuously refine courses year after year. “He is truly a ‘Renaissance Man’ that looks to the future for the next wave of exciting opportunities to produce products,” said Wysk.
Earning an Outstanding Teaching Award is no small accomplishment. In fact, it has been 20 years since the University has honored an ISE faculty member with this award. “I always knew that winning the University Teaching award was hard,” Starly recalled. “It feels great to represent our department among the outstanding teaching faculty ranks.”
“A strong indicator of Dr. Starly’s teaching effectiveness is that he was voted by the ISE students as the Anderson Outstanding Faculty as soon as he became eligible for the award,” Wysk recalled.
Starly wants to thank his parents and his wife for their continuous support, without which he could not have made a positive impact on his students. “I also want to thank the ISE department and the College of Engineering for continuously supporting my teaching effort,” he said. Taking every opportunity to continue teaching, he hopes that winning this award serves as an inspiration for ISE’s junior faculty to excel in engineering education delivery.
Warwick Arden, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost extends his warmest congratulations for Starly’s excellence as a teacher and mentor. “Your commitment to the success of your students is an embodiment of NC State’s mission and vision,” he praised. For his efforts, Starly will become a member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers for the duration of his faculty appointment at NC State.