Working with students is the most rewarding aspect of biochemistry professor Scott Gabriel’s career. That was the reason his being named Viterbo Teacher of the Year at the university’s annual 2023 Rose Awards ceremony was such an honor.
“It was a surprise and I’m really grateful,” said Gabriel, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD in biochemistry from Cornell University. “I love working with the students and this award recognizes I do it well. It is very humbling because there are many good teachers at Viterbo.”
Gabriel has taught classes such as general chemistry, cellular and molecular biology, and biochemistry since his arrival at the university in 2009. He also assists students with corresponding laboratory work and research projects.
“Viterbo is a great place to work,” he said. “I’ve always been impressed with the welcoming and open community. It feels like a second family. At Viterbo, we live our values well, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Gabriel has always been fascinated by DNA and the study of genes, which led him to his chosen field. He could have worked in industry or research, but chose education because being a part of students’ lives during their developmental years “is really invigorating and exciting.” He finds commencement to be rewarding but also bittersweet as the students prepare to leave.
“I enjoy meeting the parents and talking with them about their son or daughter and all the amazing things they’ve done,” he said. “It’s a privilege to help them achieve their dreams and goals and send them off to their next adventure.”
Gabriel enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his family, wife Kirsten (Viterbo’s vice president for student life) and their three children.
“I’m always looking for things that are challenging,” he said. “I love Viterbo, so whether it be through course development, campus leadership opportunities, or something else, I’ll always look for ways to further contribute.”