Hendrix professor wins CUR Fellows Award

Tom GoodwinWashington, D.C. (March 5, 2010)– Dr. Tom Goodwin, the Elbert L. Fausett Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Julia Mobley Odyssey Professor at Hendrix College, is one of two professors nationally who will receive the CUR Fellows Award in June. The award, which recognizes excellence in undergraduate research, will be presented at the 2010 Biennial Conference of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.  

These awards are presented to two CUR members who have developed nationally respected research programs involving undergraduate students.  Each CUR Fellow is also awarded a CUR Student Research Fellowship that they will give to a deserving undergraduate at their respective institutions. 

CUR Fellows Award recipients have established outstanding records of obtaining funding for their collaborative research with their students, and have published research findings with undergraduate co-authors.  They reach out to students of all backgrounds, incorporate research activities into the courses they teach, and lead efforts to institutionalize research on their campuses and across the nation.  In sum, they are leaders and role models for countless faculty and students.  

“Dr. Goodwin is one of Hendrix’s most distinguished faculty members,” said Hendrix Provost Robert L. Entzminger. “Not only is his teaching and mentoring legendary among Hendrix students, he was a national pioneer in demonstrating the value of undergraduate research programs, and his leadership and example were crucial in developing Hendrix’s Odyssey Program, which emphasizes hands-on learning experiences as a central component of undergraduate education.”

Dr. Goodwin has mentored the research work of approximately 120 undergraduate students over the course of 31 years.  During his career, he has been recognized for his exceptional teaching practices, having been named the Carnegie/CASE US Professor of the Year, and receiving the Pfizer Green Chemistry in Education and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Scholar/Fellow awards, to name just a few. 

Dr. Goodwin’s area of expertise is synthetic organic chemistry, but later in his career he developed a specific research interest in chemical communication among elephants which led to an NSF-funded collaboration with a behavioral biologist and a biochemist. 

One of his former students, now a biochemistry professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, said: “Put simply, Dr. Goodwin is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and mentoring. He is very highly talented in all these areas and his influence will be felt by hundreds of students over the years.” 

Dr. Goodwin was the CUR President from 1992-1993 and was a founding editor of the CUR Quarterly.

Dr. Gilles Einstein, Professor of Psychology at Furman University, will also be named a CUR Fellow. Dr. Einstein is honored for his mentorship of young researchers and involving undergraduates in his research on fundamental questions relating to human memory. He served on the Board of Governors of the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and helped lead an effort to create a new Psychology Division of CUR in the 1990s.

Nancy Hensel, Executive Officer of CUR, said, “CUR Fellows is an award that recognizes significant contributions to student development and learning as well as the quest for new knowledge through research.  CUR is pleased to honor Dr. Einstein and Dr. Goodwin with our highest award.  They are both examples of the commitment and dedication of CUR members to excellent teaching and scholarship.”

Hendrix College, founded in 1876, is a selective, residential, undergraduate liberal arts college emphasizing experiential learning in a demanding yet supportive environment. The college is featured in the 2010 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country’s best 371 colleges, was identified as the nation’s top “Up and Coming” liberal arts college for 2010 by U.S. News and World Report, and is ranked among 44 “Best Buy” colleges by the 2010 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.