By Katie Williamson
It is hard to catch Dr. John Rimoldi without a smile on his face. In his office, lab or classroom, the Medicinal Chemistry Professor’s friendly disposition is what draws students but his passion for teaching and mentoring is what keeps them intrigued and successful.
“Often, I have seen students arrive on their first day with trepidation and great anxiety only to see them with a high level of confidence in their scientific abilities as they graduate under Dr. Rimoldi’s mentorship,” wrote Dr. Steve Cutler, Chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences.
In May, Dr. Rimoldi received the Graduate School’s award for “Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring” during the doctoral hooding ceremony. The award is given annually to a faculty member for impact on graduate students, excellence in supervision of student research or professional practice, excellence in classroom instruction and contributions to improving instruction.
“I was nominated by Steve Cutler and I was humbled even to get nominated. I was excited just to even be considered,” said Rimoldi. “You don’t do this because of an award. It kind of brought into perspective some things I hold dearly and that’s graduate student education and training them well, helping them find a place in life. Graduate students allow me to have a legacy.”
Dr. Rimoldi has been teaching at in at the University since 1995. He served two consecutive 3-year terms as one of four Distinguished Teaching Scholars in the School of Pharmacy, has been awarded the University of Mississippi Faculty Achievement Award for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarship and in 2011 was named Pharmaceutical Sciences PY1 Teacher of the Year.
“I’ve put together my teaching philosophy as an acronym so I won’t forget it. The four pillars are in the acronym PROF: passion, rapport, organization and focus,” said Dr. Rimoldi. He elaborated that he has a passion for teaching, tries to have a strong rapport with his students, keeps his instructional material and lectures organized and encourages his students to have a solid focus.
“It is not simply the large number of graduate students that he has served over a long period, but it is clear to me that he also has made a deep, long lasting impact on the personal and professional lives of his students.” said John Z. Kiss, Dean of the Graduate School. “I believe that Dr. Rimoldi reminds us as faculty members that it is within our power to help to change and transform the lives of others and that this is a wonderful part of our profession.”