In 2014, the UNCG Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity Office (URSCO) established the Thomas Undergraduate Research Mentor Award to recognize faculty members who engage students in projects that contribute to expansion of knowledge and understanding in their discipline. Dr. Terry Nile, recipient of the inaugural award, has been at UNCG for his entire career, starting in 1970 as an instructor. Realizing his love for students, he returned to university to earn the Ph.D., and then resumed his role at UNCG, this time as an Assistant Professor.
He has had a very successful career, always keeping his focus on the success of his students. Because of this, he has received several teaching awards, including the prestigious University of North Carolina Board of Governors Teaching Excellence Award. He has been an outstanding research mentor for over 200 undergraduates and has been given the title “Dr. Awesomeness” by his students. On his approach to mentoring, Dr. Nile stated, “All students are different and for undergraduate research to be a life-changing experience, I try to design their work to fit their needs and abilities. I try to ’titrate‘ the student’s work, giving them very easy routine tasks to begin with and then once they have demonstrated competence then constantly challenging them with more difficult work.”
Now Professor Emeritus, he continues mentoring undergraduates in Organometallic Chemistry, as well as life lessons. It is because of Dr. Terry Nile’s passion for undergraduate education and research along with his outstanding service to the UNCG community over his lifetime that the URSCO finds him fully deserving of the first annual Thomas Undergraduate Research Mentor Award.