Henry Brooks Adams said that "a teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." As another school year begins, we salute all of the UT Dallas alumni who are teachers, and recognize one special teacher who influences the present and future of the University by introducing his students to UT Dallas.
Dr. George Hademenos is entering his seventh year of teaching physics at Richardson High School in Richardson, TX, and he loves his job. After completing his undergraduate education, Dr. Hademenos was eager to begin graduate school. He wanted to study in Texas, so he and his father took a tour of the UT Dallas campus. He was impressed with the campus, the faculty, and the students. In 1987 he graduated with his Master's degree in physics, followed by his Ph.D. in 1990. He calls his time at UT Dallas "an all-around pleasant experience" and says that he was fortunate to be accepted at "one of the best institutions around."
One of the things that amazes him most about UT Dallas is the "explosion" of the campus. From time to time he brings students from his classes over to the University to hear a guest lecture or to tour a research laboratory, and he is astonished at the evolution of the campus. He hopes in the future to further strengthen the bonds between his students and UT Dallas, potentially connecting his students to research and learning opportunities with UT Dallas faculty members.
Introducing students to UT Dallas is a great way to familiarize them with the campus and its offerings, but Dr. Hademenos takes the introductions a step farther by volunteering to write recommendation letters for his students as they apply to attend UT Dallas. He estimates that he has written letters of recommendation for 10 – 20 prospective UT Dallas students, and he is proud that many of those students have been accepted and chosen to attend UT Dallas, including a member of this year's freshman class. He's not motivated to recommend UT Dallas simply because it's his alma mater, but because he wants all of his students to succeed in whatever it is they choose to pursue. However, when a student expresses an interest in the sciences, computer sciences, or engineering, UT Dallas is at the top of his list. He says that when the students talk with him after choosing to attend UT Dallas, "they really are excited that they've made the choice" to study at UT Dallas.
Says Dr. Hademenos of how he feels about making such a positive impact on both his students and the University, "I worked very hard to get my masters and doctorate (at UT Dallas) and it made me who I am. I want to give back and say 'look, I've done all this and I want you to have the same opportunities.' I want them to have the chance. What they make of that chance is totally on their shoulders."
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