Associate Professor of Chemistry Timothy Lubben has announced his retirement for the end of this school year. Lubben has being teaching at Northwestern since the fall semester of 1988, approximately 30 years.
For the past 18 years, students have known Lubben for teaching Organic and College Chemistry, but when he first started at NW, Lubben also taught the courses Quantitative Analysis and Instrumental Analysis.
Science Support Services Professional Randy Van Peursem appreciates the friendship and time spent working with Lubben for the past 22 years.
“I have been blessed to have worked with Dr. Lubben since 1996 when I started my role as a science tutor/Science Support Services,” Van Peursem said. “Dr. Lubben is highly organized and communicates exceedingly well, which makes tutoring for his courses that much easier and enjoyable. I will truly miss our conversations, his quirky humor and his teamwork in academic support of his students.”
Lubben is also acknowledged for his dedication to teaching and curved grading techniques.
“He likes to challenge the top student without blowing away the lower performers,” Van Peursem said. “It is a great balancing act which he does very well.”
Bio-health major Kristina Sevcik, exercise science major Michael Nafe and bio-health major Nnenna Nwaelugo, all juniors, agreed they will miss Lubben’s teaching methods the most when he retires.
“He’s a really good professor,” Sevcik said. “You can tell that he really wants his students to learn and understand the material.”
Nafe saw that desire for his students’ learning in Lubben as well.
“I’ll just miss how Lubben really slowed things down so that I could understand the subject matter better,” Nafe said.
Nwaelugo said she appreciated Lubben’s teaching skills as well as his friendliness toward students.
“Organic Chemistry is one of the hardest courses a sophomore can take, so it takes a very special person to make it not only understandable, but enjoyable,” Nwaelugo said. “Also, he asked a lot of questions about my home and culture, which meant a lot to me.”
Sevcik, Nafe and Nwaelugo all have many humorous stories from classes with Lubben.
“My favorite memory of Professor Lubben is his talks about his cats,” Sevcik said. “I’m also going to miss seeing his amazing sand collection that’s located in the Organic Chemistry Lab.”
Nwaelugo’s favorite memory also has to do with cats.
“I loved his stories of his cat Benzaldehyde,” Nwaelugo said, “and the moments when he said, ‘Well I can do what I want ’cause I’m the professor!’”
Nafe has also enjoyed Lubben’s humor.
“My favorite memory of Lubben,” Nafe said, “is when he told a joke in the middle of class before Thanksgiving break: ‘What sound does a turkey make with a broken leg? Is it wobble-wobble?’”
Lubben will be leaving NW at the end of the year, but happy memories of him will stay with his students for a long time.