Dr. Johnny Evans believes his timing is perfect.
Evans, the new dean of the School of Science and Mathematics at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, said he couldn’t have picked a better time to begin his career with ABAC.
“ABAC is a unique place that has a unique mission,” Evans said. “It’s growing, and I want to be a part of that growth. I’d like to take the programs in the science and mathematics area to the next level. It’s a great time to be at ABAC.”
Besides his administrative responsibilities, Evans plans to teach classes at ABAC, a role he enjoyed in his 13 years at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., where he was a professor of chemistry and physics and the chemistry program coordinator.
“I believe that it’s important for the dean to be involved in the classroom,” Evans said. “I became a teacher because I like to be connected with the students.
“At a place like ABAC where we have smaller class sizes, the students get more one-on-one time with the professor. Students get to ask questions they may not get to ask at a bigger school. Students also get a
chance to be mentored personally by that professor during their four years at ABAC.”
The bachelor’s degree in biology has been one of the rising stars in the ABAC curriculum since the college began offering junior and senior level classes in that area in the fall term of 2011. The first bachelor’s degrees in biology were awarded in the May commencement ceremony.
“We are going to build on that degree,” Evans said. “It prepares a student to go in a lot of directions which might include medical school or a Ph.D. program.”
Evans received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Georgia College and State University and earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Florida. His father was in the military so he spent most of his formative years on the road, attending 13 different schools before his junior year of high school. His family lived overseas for many years, including a long stint in Germany. He named Austria as his favorite European country.
“I have been to a lot of places and seen a lot of different things,” Evans said. “Those experiences help me to understand that everybody’s different, and that you connect and adjust to each person differently.
“It’s the same way in the classroom. At ABAC, students have their own approach to learning. The professors here get a chance to know the students and their learning styles. That way, we can decide how to best meet the needs of that student.”
Fall semester classes begin at ABAC Aug. 14.