Daniel Grimm, Ph.D., has stood on the front lines of microbiology and medical research for Duke University Medical Center and directed government labs.
He knows what it takes to be successful, and he's showing the path to Lenoir-Rhyne University students.
For that, he has been recognized as the Raymond Morris Bost Distinguished Professor for the 2020-21 academic year.
"I realized I didn't read through my emails and missed a of couple clues about a potential award," Grimm said. "I was surprised. I was honored, of course, that the students and faculty who nominated me would hold me in such high esteem."
Despite his success in the private sector, Grimm felt called to return to teaching.
"I had taught for six years in graduate school," he said. "I missed it, so I decided to put my name out there."
Grimm joined LR as an adjunct faculty member in 2014 and moved into a full-time assistant professor role in 2016.
"Dan is amazingly committed to his students," said LR Provost Gary Johnson, Ph.D. "I think that is the quality that most stands out to me. He's a warm, open, caring faculty member who, I think, is doing this because it's a calling. He's just dedicated to his students.
"The experiential component that Dan has built into his teaching is critical for students, and I think it's the best way to learn science. Teaching by doing is a pretty powerful methodology."
In addition to teaching microbiology and biology courses for health care and related disciplines, Grimm also teaches a research course for biology majors.
"The thing I like about that is students come up with research projects on topics they're interested in," he said. "Within the realm of what's doable, we guide them through the process."
He has guided students who've gone on to graduate schools such as Wake Forest, Vanderbilt and Duke, while working on projects isolating antibiotic-resistant bacteria and altering them to make antibiotics more effective or isolating bacteria from the environment to eliminate toxins in soil.
"It is a privilege to work here because of the quality of students and faculty we have," Grimm said. "I didn't expect to receive an award for doing something that's so much fun. Working at Lenoir-Rhyne is very rewarding and a lot of fun."
2020-21 Lenoir-Rhyne Faculty Awards
- Adjunct Faculty Teaching and Service Award: Hannah Highsmith (English)
- Roediger Distinguished Service Professors: Mindy Makant, Th.D (religion)
- Faculty Scholar Award: Jeffrey Delbert, Ph.D. (communication)