Turning Lesson Plans into Real World Opportunities
“The ability to work one-on-one, side-by-side with the faculty is an opportunity and experience unique to UE.”
Andy Lampkins, PhD
Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Science
When comparing UE to other colleges around the country, students may not expect such a small school to be able to offer world class academics. However, according to UE chemistry professor, Andy Lampkins, PhD, UE’s small size is actually one of its greatest assets.
Experience In and Out of the Classroom
Before coming to teach at UE, Lampkins had both teaching and real world experience. He was a Walther Cancer Institute Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Notre Dame and a faculty member at Samford University in Alabama for five years. During this time, he not only taught in pharmacy school, but he also worked as a pharmacist, enabling him to keep his finger on the pulse of the profession. “I always kind of had my hand in pharmacy,” he said. “But what I wanted was to be engaged in undergraduate research, to engage with students in the lab and solve meaningful and real world problems.”
Lampkins left Alabama to return to Evansville, Indiana, the town where he was born and raised. He saw starting a teaching career at UE as a great opportunity to not only relocate his family to the area he had grown up in, but to work with outstanding facilities and students. “The school is equipped with a tremendous faculty full of the brightest minds in the Midwest.”
Solving Real World Problems
Throughout his time as a professor in UE’s Department of Chemistry, Lampkins has been able to do just what he wanted: engage with students and solve real world problems. “The students are fantastic and being able to work with them, giving them that first exposure to real world science, is a great feeling.” Lampkins has been able to work on several projects with his students, such as developing new chemical reactions to create new medicines, and he has enjoyed working with each student. “One of the advantages of being at UE is that we, as professors, can forge personal relationships with our students.” Availability and approachability are two characteristics important to developing these relationships. “We know all of our students here, and it’s very easy to identify who would benefit from independent research projects.”
Engaging with Students
The perfect example of what these kinds of relationships lead to can be found in Abby Smith. “She’s the perfect example of a UE student,” Lampkins said. “Eager and bright - it’s not difficult to identify her as an intelligent person with a lot of potential.” Abby interned with Lampkins last summer in the research lab, working on a smart therapeutic cancer treatment paradigm. She will start another internship this summer with Eli Lilly in Indianapolis working on similar projects.
Opportunities for Students
Lampkins is sure that Abby is destined for great things, just like every student who will graduate from UE. “When a student graduates from UE, they have the knowledge and experience to set them apart from all the others. The ability to work one-on-one, side-by-side with the faculty is an opportunity and experience unique to UE.” He’s proud of the caliber of students here and he would put our students up against the any other top colleges. “The academic rigor here at UE is palpable, and I’m very impressed with how the students rise up to that challenge.”
“If you’re thinking about UE, come visit,” Lampkins suggests to prospective students. “Once a student comes to campus, meets the faculty and the students, they’ll see how we operate and how much UE has to offer.”