A reception to honor Professor Robert C. Neuman, Jr. for 35 distinguished years of service to the University was held on Friday, June 19, 1998 at the University Club on campus. Among those in attendance were Bob's family--wife Pat, sons Scott and Jon and daughter Julie as well as Bob's mother. Chair and Professor of Chemistry Michael F. Rettig officiated at the event. Well-wishers included Raymond L. Orbach, Professor of Physics and Chancellor, Harry W. Johnson, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Charles L. Wilkins, Professor of Chemistry, Richard M. Wing, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Irwin W. Sherman, Professor Emeritus of Zoology. Speaking on behalf of the Chemistry Department staff was Management Services Officer Linda McCafferty who mentioned that Bob has been a Chemistry Department Honorary Staff Person since 1982. Pat Neuman, with the help of Chemistry staffers Barbara Carrillo and Lisa Gonzales, arranged the retirement party with a delicious array of hors d'oeuvres and beverages. Bob had requested that any monies collected for gifts be donated to the Bryan E. Kohler Endowed Lectureship fund. A sizeable donation from many individual donors to the fund was made in Bob's name. Other gifts for Bob included a beautiful engraved clock to acknowledge Bob's 35 years of service, a plaque that commemorates his Distinguished Teaching Award, and a collection of numerous congratulatory letters bound in a "Memory Book." Bob (accompanied by Pat) was honored later that evening at a black-tie affair hosted by the Chancellor at his residence for having received the 1997-98 Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award. On Saturday, June 20th Bob received his award to thunderous applause during Commencement. He told the crowd "Thank you. Have a great life!"
Among the awards Bob has received:
1993, CNAS Panhellenic Teacher of the Year Award
1998 Who's Who Among America's Teachers
Excerpted from UCR Academic Senate Annual Meeting of the Riverside Division, May 28, 1998:
TO BE ADOPTED:
Professor Robert C. Neuman arrived at UCR in 1963 as an Assistant Professor. He was determined to meet and maintain the highest standards of the campus in both research and teaching which he has done consistently as he rose through the professorial ranks. Professor Neuman has participated in teaching at all levels in both classroom and non-classroom settings. He has mentored twelve Ph.D. students, six M.S. students, and 28 undergraduate students in research, and he has also contributed greatly to teaching in the challenging "sophomore organic" sequence in the Department. In these courses, Professor Neuman aims to present up-to-date chemistry rigorously, while enabling students of all majors and backgrounds to understand and appreciate the significance and the context of the concepts. One student wrote: "Your ability to make the subject palatable for everyone and enjoyable for most is unlike any I have ever seen." Excelling at all levels of teaching, Professor Neuman has taught the General Chemistry sequence for Freshmen (Chemistry 1ABC), and he developed and taught a new course for non-science majors: Concepts of Chemistry (Chemistry 3). Professor Neuman has also excelled in teaching at these levels. A Chemistry 1C student commented "He shows great concern toward his students' understanding the material. The best thing about his lectures is that he is precise and to the point; he teaches the importance of chemistry, not all the other nonessentials." A Chemistry 3 student states "His lectures take a hard subject and make it seem simple and learnable. Dr. Neuman possesses one of the finest qualities in teachers - that of caring about their work. He truly cares about teaching chemistry." In addition to serving regularly in the Department' s undergraduate and graduate advising program, he has also been active for many years in pre-medical advising and in teaching-outreach as an officer in the American Chemical Society's Local Section. Recently, Professor Neuman has been writing a new organic chemistry textbook that will reflect his style and experience in teaching. Professor Neuman's long and consistent career in teaching in all of its manifestations makes him richly deserving of the 1997-1998 Distinguished Teaching Award.
Excerpted from The Press-Enterprise newspaper, Tuesday, June 2, 1998:
The University of California, Riverside Academic Senate on Thursday unanimously voted the campus honor of Distinguished Teaching to chemist Robert Neuman. Neuman, a UCR staffer since 1963, received praise from students in his organic chemistry and general chemistry classes. Neuman had the "ability to make the subject palatable for everyone, and enjoyable for most, and makes a hard subject "seem simple and learnable," students said. Neuman is retiring at the end of this academic year to work on an undergraduate text book. The award "is a magnificent send-off," Neuman said. "When I came here as an assistant professor, I was told by the senior chemistry faculty that they wanted me to be as good a teacher as a researcher.
Photographs and text by Colleen Fleming.
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