Know Your Professor: Rich Gurney
Professor Gurney in front of Bet Giorgis in Lalibela, Ethiopa
Meet Associate Professor and Department Chair Rich Gurney from the Department of Chemistry and Physics. Professor Gurney is known around Simmons as the "green professor," specifically for his work with the "Cups to Cleaners: Trash to Treasure" project. But did you know he has a hidden talent in the kitchen and loves Family Guy?
- What is your favorite class to teach?
- Like children, I can't pick a favorite!
- What book are you currently reading
- The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge, by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble.
- What's your favorite book?
- The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss.
- Do you have a favorite TV show?
- The Family Guy - vide supra
- If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
- I would host the dinner party so that I could invite more than one person. I would invite: Leonardo di Vinci - to gain insight into visionary innovation; Madame Sklodowska Curie - to gain insight into tenacity and my Polish-French roots; my biological father since I haven't seen him in 34 years; and Seth MacFarlane to make sure we would all laugh a lot.
- What's your favorite band/artist?
- OMG! I have to pick one favorite? I have 75GB of music on my iPod! If I had to give you my top five it would be Radiohead, Bjork, NIN, the Lola Rennt Soundtrack, Timo Maas and Yann Tiersen (the soundtrack to Amelie). Wait, that's six.
- Fill in the blank: When I was in college, I _____
- Was very busy - in the sciences (as a tutor, teaching assistant and research assistant), in extracurricular activities (I launched the first college recycling program where I personally had to collect paper and aluminum cans at every office on campus every Friday because the reluctant administration thought I wouldn't be up for the challenge), and working in many college offices to pay for college (undergraduate admissions, the library, the AV center, the cafeteria dish-room, etc.) However, the one thing I regret is that I didn't have the courage or strength to be "out and proud" in the strongly parochial environment. (Luckily, I found Simmons where I am proud to be out.)
- What's your favorite website or social network?
- Wikispaces because it helps me organize everything. (But you should check out the Chemistry and physics department Facebook group!)
- What's your favorite restaurant in Boston?
- at 1 a.m.: Food Wall in Jamaica Plain
For dinner: Blue Nile in Jamaica Plain
For a Manhattan: 5 Napkin Burger in the Prudential Center.
- If you could travel to anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?
- I would visit Ethiopia again because it was one of the best experiences of my life.
- When I'm not teaching, I'm ______
- Do you have a hidden talent?
- My hidden talent is whipping up something good to eat when there is seemingly nothing in the kitchen.
- What song is your personal anthem?
- It depends on the mood, but I gravitate to these when I really need a pick-me-up:
When empty: "Beautiful," by Christina Aguilera
When nostalgic: "Don't You (Forget About me)," by Simple Minds
When frustrated: "Army of Me," by Bjork
- Fill in the blank: I love Simmons because ____
- I can make a difference in the lives of young women scientists, I know I can help these women find their voice, and I can do all this in an environment that is welcoming, supportive and vibrant.
- Describe Simmons in one word: