Art, physics professors earn undergraduate teaching and research awards from George Fox University

May 12th, 2017

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Tim Timmerman and Bob Hamilton are honored by the Newberg, Ore., institution for the 2016-17 school year

Tim Timmerman

Tim Timmerman

NEWBERG, Ore. – An art professor and an engineering professor who specializes in teaching physics were named recipients of George Fox University’s 2016-17 undergraduate teaching and research/scholarship awards, respectively.

Tim Timmerman, an art professor at the institution for 14 years, was recipient of George Fox’s Faculty Achievement Award for Undergraduate Teaching, while Bob Hamilton, whose research has focused on properties of waves formed by the interaction of the solar wind, was named recipient of the Faculty Achievement Award for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship.

Timmerman specializes in teaching painting, sculpture, mixed media, contemporary art forms, drawing and art history. He also oversees the school’s Minthorne Gallery and the university’s art collection.

“It’s a blessing to work in a place with so many excellent faculty members,” Timmerman said. “It is humbling to be chosen among so many wonderful colleagues who give above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to teaching and living out the ‘Be Known’ promise with our students. I count myself honored and privileged to work with such a kind and hardworking community.”

Ultimately, he sees the classroom as a place not only to pass on art techniques, but values students can live by.

“It is my desire that I help students develop their skill and proficiency as creators and makers in this world,” he said. “But moreover, it has been my hope that my students recognize and enflesh the truth that the arts are integral within all of life. My aim in teaching has been to help students lean into what it is to be a follower of Christ and fully human so that they may flourish in a life grounded in what is good, right, true and beautiful.

“The students are hands down what I love most about teaching at George Fox. Their enthusiasm, tenacity, creativity, passion and drive I find inspirational and hopeful.”

Timmerman earned a bachelor’s degree in studio art from Biola University and an MFA in painting and drawing from Washington State University.

Bob Hamilton

Bob Hamilton

Hamilton, a professor of physics, was honored for his research and scholarship on the properties of waves formed by the interaction of the solar wind – the blast of charged particles from the sun – and the sun’s magnetic field.

“The behaviors of the solar wind and the sun’s magnetic field are completely intertwined, and one result of their interaction is a type of wave which travels much like a wave on a plucked string,” Hamilton said. “The mathematics and physics of the wave dynamics are beautiful and are easily modeled numerically. These waves also have practical importance through their role shaping geomagnetic storms that can impact the world’s power grids and satellite communications.”

Hamilton often spends his summers researching the subject area and finds inspiration from the students he works with. In fact, he says students’ creativity and hard work have helped advance the research and have led to publications, presentations and collaborations. “Their insightful questions have often challenged me to rethink assumptions and methods for the better,” he said.

Hamilton said he was honored and surprised by the award – and, as a bonus, it came with a surprise visit from his 90-year-old mother and 98-year-old aunt, who attended the award presentation without his foreknowledge.

“It is all God’s grace to be able to teach and do physics with the bright and enthusiastic students at George Fox University, and in both research and the classroom the students have been my inspiration,” he said. “Being able to watch and contribute to the growth of students through their time at the university – to see them become confident, professional co-workers equipped to follow God’s calling on their lives – has been the largest reward and source of pride.”

Hamilton, who has taught at George Fox since 2003, received a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Puget Sound in 1985 and a PhD in physics from UCLA in 1991.

George Fox University is ranked by Forbes among the top Christian universities in the country and is a Christian college classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier regional university. More than 4,000 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem and Redmond, Ore. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, six seminary degrees, and 13 master’s and doctoral degrees.


Linda Samek
Provost, George Fox University

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