Georg Gunther (2005)

GuntherAffiliation at the time of the award: Memorial University, Mathematics and Statistics.

Citation: Georg Gunther transforms students: they write that he expands their minds and makes them think more about the universe. As one student put it, he “forever changed my life and outlook on things around me.” Though he is a creative advocate for mathematics – witness teaching strategies like his original problem-solving cartoon characters “Jack and Jill” –, his central concern is always with the student more than with the subject. As he states in his teaching philosophy, “I will be content if I open the minds of my students, not only to the beauty or utility of mathematics, but to the tremendous potential inherent in their own minds and souls, regardless of whether that potential expresses itself in the sciences or the humanities, in mathematics or music.”

Georg he has found practical ways to ensure that first-year students realize their minds’ and souls’ potential. Under Georg’s leadership, Wilfred Grenfell College began a program of Supplemental Instruction (SI) that targets “high risk” courses and then trains student leaders to offer peer support. For its first five years, Georg shepherded the project, and through his workshops and presentations across the country, he has become a leading advocate for Supplemental Instruction.

Georg has been recognized with Memorial’s President’s Award for Teaching and the AAU Distinguished Teacher Award.