Professor John J. Dropkin had a long, rich, and multifaceted association with School of Engineering, first as a graduate student, then as a faculty member, as Chair of the Physics Department, and later as Professor Emeritus. What may not be as well known is that after he retired from the Physics Department in 1978, Professor Dropkin continued his commitment to science education at Polytechnic by founding the Learning Center and directing it for ten years. This was a place where students could go for academic support in physics, chemistry, and calculus. They could speak with Professor Dropkin, or with one of the peer tutors he recruited and trained. Students could ask questions, get help with their homework, and prepare for exams.
Then, as now, engineering students were intelligent, curious, and hardworking young people with dreams of building their futures through careers in science and engineering. Like today’s students, they were often the first in their families to go to college, and many of them were recent immigrants to the United States. They often juggled their educational and professional goals with more immediate financial needs. Professor Dropkin was committed to reaching these talented young people through the sciences and to supporting their efforts to succeed in their chosen fields.
The Polytechnic Tutoring Center (PTC) is the direct descendent of Professor Dropkin’s program. We are proud to continue the work he began.
In that spirit, The Dropkin Tutor of the Year Award was established in 2007. The PTC gives this award each year in memory of John J. Dropkin, who chaired the physics department from 1947 until 1978, then served the students by establishing mathematics and science tutoring services. This award recognizes peer tutors who continue this tradition by helping their fellow students at the Polytechnic Tutoring Center.
This year's John J. Dropkin Tutor of the Year Award goes to:
Tim Charlton is a BS/MS student in the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He is in his last year of the 5-year program pursuing a BS in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and a MS in Chemical Engineering. He has worked at the Polytechnic Tutoring Center since the spring of 2014 and began working as a physics tutor in 2015. In addition to tutoring, Tim works as a researcher in a Protein Engineering Lab at the School of Engineering and is in the process of completing his thesis paper. After graduation, Tim plans to work in industry and continue to help and teach those around him.
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