Emory Report

May 18, 1998

 Volume 50, No. 32

License to teach fulfills lifelong dream for PhD recipient Nardo

Ever since he was a kid, John Nardo has wanted to teach. And now that he holds an Emory PhD in mathematics, he plans on doing just that for a very long time.

Of course, Nardo has been teaching for some time. As doctoral student he won the Marshall Hall Jr. Prize in 1996 for distinguished undergraduate instruction and was awarded a Dean's Teaching Fellowship for the 1996-97 academic year. And while he's been a visiting instructor at North Georgia College & State University since last fall, he found out a couple months ago the school had decided to hire him as a tenure-track faculty member.

"I've been very focused-the whole reason I came to grad school was to be a professor," Nardo said. "I'm most energized when I'm in front of that classroom."

He also enjoys living in Atlanta. Raised in North Carolina and spending his undergraduate days at Wake Forest, Nardo came to Emory in part to be in a major metropolitan city. He now commutes every day from Dunwoody to Dahlonega, where North Georgia is located.

One thing the college doesn't afford Nardo is grad students with whom to continue his research. His dissertation explored "random knot theory" of macromolecules like DNA, a statistical research area that potentially has applications in biochemistry. Currently Nardo is looking for industry partners to help investigate where his research could be useful.

But for now he's happy at the lectern. "I love to teach," Nardo said. "I'll continue my research, but primarily I want to be in that classroom. That's what I enjoy the most."

-Michael Terrazas

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