By Anna Meurer
Dr. Jonathan Dickinson, associate professor of physics, was awarded the John Walker Manning Distinguished Mentor and Teacher Award at last Tuesday’s Opening Convocation to a standing ovation amidst a packed house of faculty and students.
The award, which Provost Rosemary Allen described as one of her favorite parts of Convocation, recognizes commitment to Georgetown College through involvement in extracurricular activities and excellence in teaching. It specifically recognizes leadership and mentoring to students, Georgetown attitude and spirit, and high moral character. According to his students, Dr. Dickinson, or “Dr. D,” fits the bill perfectly. Senior Zac Losey said, “He seriously might be the most genuinely caring professor I’ve ever met. His dedication to students is almost unbelievable.”
An outstanding student during his time at Georgetown, Dickinson graduated with a B.S. in math and physics and a B.A. in philosophy. He then earned his M.S. in applied physics and Ph.D. in chemical physics at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dickinson has embraced the role of transferring his knowledge to the next generation of students.
Senior Kellie McMurry remarked, “Dr. Dickinson has a real interest in his students’ lives, both in school and out. In addition to being a wonderful teacher who is willing to help you with school any way he can, he truly cares about you as an individual, not just as a student.” Students consistently noted his willingness to make sure they mastered the concepts at hand, both in and outside of class.
Senior Michelle Larberg added, “I think one of the best things about him is he will literally come in whenever he can to help students, even if it is an 8 p.m. review session on a Saturday or if he finds you struggling with a question somewhere in Asher at 2 a.m.”
Even excluding classes, Dr. Dickinson is never far from campus. In addition to his late-night review sessions, he is also involved with the college’s yearly PAEMS camp and has been known to drive GC PALS members to conferences. He even lent his Humans vs. Zombies expertise to Dance Marathon. Overall, the general consensus is of an award well deserved.