Supapan Seraphin, a materials science and engineering professor, received a Ben's Bells award for her work with students on January 21, 2011. She makes a famous Thai lunch for them, providing an opportunity to discuss academic concerns.
Each week she cooks Thai food in the kitchen of Maricopa Hall, attracting dozens of hungry students with the aroma of her Pad Thai and yellow curry. Seraphin's commitment to her students goes far beyond cooking. As director of the Research Experience for Undergraduates program, every summer she takes undergraduates to Thailand to do materials-related research in a university or national laboratory. "I want undergraduates to experience research and know how much fun it is," she says. "I want to give them a global perspective. A student once told me he never met an engineering professor so well-rounded. I take that as a great compliment. I don't want to just give my students engineering. I want to tell them that to lead a good, happy life you need balance." Video directed by Ben Kirkby http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GInYsAF6hLw