References to a broken scooter and a bag of shattered light bulbs were key parts of the lecture that Brian Hogan gave to a mix of students and faculty in Gerrard Hall on Wednesday.
The chemistry professor was presented with the 2015 Carolina Chiron Award, which recognizes educators for their character and service to undergraduates. The winner gets to speak on any topic as if it is his or her last lecture.
Kristyn Wilson, chairwoman of Speakers at Carolina, helped organize this year’s lecture. She said the award is the only student-selected and student-led speaker event on campus. She said Hogan was chosen in part because of his position as academic director of the Scholars’ Latino Initiative.
“It’s really clear that he not only has a lot of success in the classroom, but he has been a role model to students outside of his class,” she said.
Hogan said many people might see him as successful, but his speech, titled “Broken Scooters and Shattered Light Bulbs,” discussed the failures that shaped him.
After his living through parent’s divorce and getting kicked out of Catholic school as a teen, Hogan said he became angry, resentful and fearful.
As a young adult, Hogan diagnosed himself with "imposter syndrome." He said he was unable to internalize his own accomplishments, and for a long time, he believed he was a fraud.
“I became a master of facade,” he said. “I never really knew who I was, so I could put on whatever face I needed to fit in.”
He went to graduate school at the University of Arizona but dropped out after feeling like an imposter.