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Public Statements

Dr. Tom Goodwin

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

DR. TOM GOODWIN

Mr. PRYOR. Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to one of Arkansas's and America's preeminent educators, Dr. Tom Goodwin of Hendrix College. Dr. Goodwin was honored last week with a United States Professor of the Year Award as the Outstanding Baccalaureate College Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He was one of four, in the entire Nation to be honored for their dedication to undergraduate education and teaching and their commitment to students.

It is not often, that one gets recognized for one's life's work. It is even less often that the recognition comes when the recipient is still at the height of his career. I wish to congratulate Dr. Goodwin on behalf of all Arkansans for this wonderful accomplishment. Dr. Goodwin has dedicated his entire professional life, over 25 years, to the education of young people. During a time when many are concerned with publishing, research, and the advancement of their own careers, Dr. Goodwin has remained focused on the reasons he entered academia-the fostering and development of the leaders and great thinkers of the next generation. And I, for one, agree with him. He has done what so many teachers try to do. Some are more successful than others. Some are outstanding researchers who make wonderful discoveries that further the scientific knowledge of mankind. Some are great administrators who manage the machinery from which these great discoveries are churned. Still, Dr. Goodwin has made the greatest discovery of all. He has discovered that all of the advancements of the human race, all of the great mechanizations from which these advancements come mean nothing without the continuity of people teaching other people. Knowledge in a vacuum, doesn't further the human condition. For the human condition to move forward, to change for the betterment of all, we must learn. We must teach. "For the end of man is to know." That's one of my favorite literary quotes, from Robert Penn Warren's All The King's Men. The end of man keeps moving farther, just beyond the outstretched reach of our hands. To reach the ends, man must continue to know. Dr. Goodwin has found the best way to accomplish this; the best way to achieve the end is through a partnership between teacher and student. The disbursement of knowledge; what it is, how to get it, where to find it, becomes the primary objective for a multigenerational team working together. Dr. Goodwin has achieved this elusive goal. A seamless partnership between professor and student, with both benefiting from the contributions of the other, both contributing toward the end of man.

But don't take it from me. His colleagues and his students realize the impact Dr. Goodwin has had on the minds and motivations of young people. They refer to him not only as teacher and scholar, but also as mentor and friend. Dr. John Churchill, secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and former Dean of Hendrix College notes, "To see Tom Goodwin with students is to feel the power of his expectations. It is also to feel the warm, personal support, extended toward their efforts. He epitomizes the tension of the best undergraduate liberal arts professors: demanding rigor and providing support. He takes a wide-ranging interest in his students' education. He helps them grow into well-rounded intellects." His colleagues in the Chemistry Department at Hendrix College, Dr. Liz Gron, testifies to the amount of time and attention Dr. Goodwin gives his work. "He wants every student to succeed and he provides a number of different venues in order to support different learning styles. Tom schedules four help sessions a week, as well as time-independent exams to accommodate students that synthesize concepts more slowly." His students agree. "Dr. Goodwin offered many, many hours of his personal time, both in the laboratory and the classroom, to help me conquer the very difficult subjects I was studying," says Daniel Mwanza, a former student at Hendrix. Many other former students agreed and wrote statements similar to Mr. Mwanza's in support of his nomination for this award. So you see, this man is important to his students, important to his colleagues and institution, and important to education across this country. I am proud to serve him and I am proud he is my constituent. Dr. Goodwin represents the highest tradition of education in this country. He inspires his students to achieve more than they would alone. He is deeply deserving of this award, and I wish to congratulate him for this monumental achievement.

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