students, and he thinks it's important that they know it,
because that knowledge seems to help them succeed. "I find that
once students understand that I care about them, they try harder
and are more comfortable coming to see me for extra help," he says.
"When students know I am doing everything possible to help them
succeed, they will put forth maximum effort."
Weiner caught the teaching bug as a graduate
student, where he was a teaching assistant for multiple
courses. He was moved to find out how much impact his efforts
could make. "Many students told me that I was the only reason
they made it through the course." Having the chance to fill in
for a couple of professors on sabbatical sealed his career
ambitions. "I was hooked!" he says.
The relationships with students are the most
rewarding part of being a professor, says Weiner. "Everyone
has a capacity to learn; it is the professor's job to figure
out how best to make this happen. It's all about trying to
optimize and maximize each student's potential," he explains.
"Over time, to see all of the amazing accomplishments of my
former students, and to know that I played a tiny role in each
individual's success, is an unbelievable feeling!"
he says. "After all, if I am not excited to be teaching a
subject, then why should students get excited to be learning
Zarse (AB, 2005) certainly believes it. "Bill's own enthusiasm for the subject matter was absolutely infectious," says the internal medicine doctor candidate who is starting a nephrology fellowship later this year. "He made the entire class interested in the subject at hand and eager to discuss it."
Zarse gives Weiner a lot of credit for helping
him down the path toward becoming a physician. "Without Dr. Weiner
as my primary mentor and thesis research advisor, I'm sure I would
not be in the position I am today," he says.
The bottom line is that Weiner really cares about