Shubhik DebBurman ’91
Goes Above And Beyond For His Students
You know them when you see them: the people who have found their true calling. You see it in the way they do their work – with an enthusiasm and dedication that seems to know no limits. Shubhik DebBurman ’91, associate professor of biology at Lake Forest College in Illinois, is one of those lucky people.
For the past eight years, he has been known on the Lake Forest campus for his boundless energy and tireless commitment to his students and their intellectual growth. This year, Lake Forest College officially recognized his outstanding achievements as teacher, path-breaking researcher and engaged campus citizen by naming him a recipient of the Bird Award for Intellectual Contributions to the Campus Community.
The Bird Award recognizes an individual on campus who brings “a special measure of intellectual fervor and commitment…within or outside of campus organizations.” DebBurman was both surprised and grateful when he heard that he had received the award.
“It was very unexpected, and I cannot help but feel thankful for my Witt years and all my teachers,” DebBurman says. “A handful of them became my deepest inspiration, and I can recall exactly how each of them influenced me, especially Dave Mason, Betty Powelson, Jo Wilson, Dave Wishart, Charles Chatfield, Dick Veler, Nathan Bolls and Jim Huffman.”
Listening to the accolades heaped on him by colleagues and students alike, it is clear that DebBurman invigorates the community because he invests so much of himself into it. He is as likely to be found volunteering, organizing a function, recruiting a speaker, publicizing a student’s achievements or mentoring other faculty as he is to be teaching or conducting scientific research. His passion for science is matched by his belief in the importance of the entire liberal arts experience.
DebBurman’s own liberal arts degree from Wittenberg – in biology and economics – paved a path of accomplishment that continues today. Generous with his time and his knowledge, DebBurman has devoted special attention to offering unique opportunities for his students. He regularly encourages them to co-author research papers with him, and he singlehandedly founded Eukaryon, an online journal for undergraduate research that is entirely edited and published by students.
While DebBurman clearly welcomes and appreciates the recognition from his peers, it is but the icing on the cake of a career that brings him great joy and fulfillment. As he says:
“I could not be a happier or more satisfied person than in my current job.”