An educational advocate

David Matthes steps in as director of undergraduate studies for the genetics, cell biology and development major.
February 27, 2023

If you know David Matthes, you know he values teaching. The CBS faculty member in both the departments of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development and Biology Teaching and Learning has decades of experience leading undergraduates in course topics ranging from cell biology to bioinformatics. 

“I’ve been passionate about teaching since I was a college student myself,” he says. “It’s the feeling of connection with people who want to understand the world and themselves, and who are working to realize more of their potential that I find incredibly rewarding.”

Matthes’ impact in the classroom has been profound. In his time at the University of Minnesota, he has received the Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award, Dagley-Kirkwood Undergraduate Award and several Golden Pipette Awards – awarded by the CBS student body – Most Approachable, Most Engaging and Most Passionate Professor, Most Helpful Office Hours, and Best Life Advice. Matthes will bring his teaching acumen to a new role this year, serving as the director of undergraduate studies (DUGS) for the genetics, cell biology and development major. 

“I wanted to be more engaged with the GCD department and help it work better for the students in our major and minors,” says Matthes. “Serving in this role will give me the chance to be an advocate for academic standards as well as for students who are trying to complete research or the requirements of their major or minor. I like the challenge of balancing those objectives.”

As DUGS, Matthes will serve alongside colleagues in the same role across CBS’ eight majors, working to oversee and improve the educational experience for students in the college and provide educational insight and leadership on academic issues. 

“I’m honored to be working with the other DUGS within CBS as they have so much experience and wisdom, and are so committed to ensuring that our undergraduates get an outstanding college education,” says Matthes. 

— Lance Janssen