Dr. Carl Nelson: What a Teacher Should Be Essay

Dr. Carl Nelson: What a Teacher Should Be Essay

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Dr. Carl Nelson epitomizes the definition of what a teacher should be. He has literally changed my life, and I am sure he has done, and will continue to do, the same for others. He possesses qualities which cannot be purchased from a store or taught in a school. He spreads himself as thin as possible so that he may reach as many people as possible, but he always finds time to help anyone when called upon.

In 20 years, I easily see myself looking back and realizing where my successful engineering career began. During my sophomore year of undergraduate mechanical engineering, I came upon one of Dr. Nelson’s research projects, the efficient bicycle pedaling mechanism. I was in complete awe of his work. I sent him an email expressing my interest in his research, and he quickly set up an appointment with me. We continued to have several more meetings where I brought in very crude four bar linkages made out of cereal boxes and wire, but this did not dissuade him from talking with me. Over the course of several semesters, I would make several more appointments with him, which had nothing to do with either of our school curricula, but he always agreed to meet with me. During my junior year, I expressed interest in contributing with him in research, and, to my complete disbelief, he accepted. I didn’t have a 4.0GPA or a perfect ACT score; while most professors would scoff at the idea of having me work alongside them, Dr. Nelson saw the drive inside me and gave me the opportunity to work with him.

I participate in weekly meetings with Dr. Nelson and the rest of his research group. During these meetings, I am always deeply impressed by how knowledgeable and helpful he is. His expertise in design, manufacturing, and engineeri...


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...ravity team, the engineering Student Advisory Board, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. These are not small commitments by any means, but rather they continue to eat away at valuable time that he could be spending with his family, friends, or just decompressing after work. Instead of relaxing though, he puts others’ needs and interests before his own.

I can say with complete confidence there is not a more genuine, caring, and intelligent professor who interacts with the student body as well as Dr. Nelson. You will never hear a bad word said about Dr. Nelson, nor will you hear him speak anything but positive and constructive words of encouragement inside and outside of the classroom. Dr. Nelson has truly made an immeasurable impact in my life, and I can say, without any doubt, he will be the most influential person in many others’ lives as well.

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