The Luther W. and Bernice L. Thompson Distinguished Teaching Award is presented annually to a recently tenured faculty member. The recipient of this award traditionally delivers the Fall Honors Day address. This year's award winner is Professor Timothy Funk.
Professor Funk is an alumnus of Gettysburg College, Class of 2000. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at Gettysburg, he earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 2006. Following a year serving as a synthetic chemist at GlaxoSmithKline, Tim returned to his alma mater in 2007 as an assistant professor. Tim regularly teaches courses and labs on organic chemistry and chemical applications in spectroscopy.
Tim credits his time as an undergraduate at Gettysburg for his inspiration to teach. While serving as a student assistant for classes in chemistry and mathematics, he found that he enjoyed using multiple ways of explaining concepts to his peers and loved helping others find understanding of difficult materials. His passion for chemistry goes even further back, to his high school, where he discovered that chemistry was a big puzzle, but one where understanding the underlying concepts enables one to address many questions.
Professor Funk has endeavored to teach his Gettysburg students these underlying concepts and then to demonstrate their value by having his students apply them to a variety of problems. He is an enthusiastic, conscientious, approachable, and demanding teacher who consistently displays a concern for the development of students as people. He has worked with students at all levels, from helping first year students integrate into the Gettysburg community and engaging in research with multiple students who are more advanced. As a result of these efforts, he has previously been honored with the 2010-11 Student Senate Faculty Appreciation Award. Despite his relatively short time as a faculty member, Tim Funk has already made a substantial impact on the Gettysburg College community. He clearly understands the fundamental concepts of the liberal arts experience and is a wonderful example of what we hope for in our alumni and our faculty. His talk today is entitled: Learn from Pierre's Mistakes. Please welcome Professor Timothy Funk.
Introduction by Associate Provost, Rob Bohrer