A Professor Who Inspires

Winter 2016 | Kirby Messinger

Gary Dohanich

Some teachers have the unique ability to connect with students in a way that motivates them to search for knowledge. For Wayne Teetsel, that teacher was Gary Dohanich.

“When I started at Tulane in 1983, I didn’t really take school that seriously. Every class was a chore,” says Teetsel, a 1987 psychology major and 1990 masters in business administration graduate. “But that all changed my sophomore year when I took a class with Dr. Dohanich.”

Dohanich helped Teetsel view the world in a different way. He inspired a thirst for knowledge that helped Teetsel reprioritize his life and focus on his future.

“It all changed after I met Dr. Dohanich,” says Teetsel. “I realized that I had this really fantastic opportunity. I wanted to take advantage of the resources I had at my disposal.”

After Teetsel retired, he finally had a chance to look back and reflect on the moments throughout this life that helped build his pyramid of success and “Gary, was at the base of the pyramid.”

Teetsel was inspired to create a professorship in Dohanich’s honor, the Gary Dohanich Professorship in Brain Science. The professorship will be housed in the new Tulane Brain Institute, a university-wide initiative created to coordinate and support brain-related research and neuroscience endeavors at Tulane.

“By honoring Gary, I hope I’m showing that teaching matters – that students matter,” says Teetsel. “It’s not just about research and grants. That’s important but at the core it’s about education.”

A matching gift opportunity has been created to support the Gary Dohanich Professorship. For every dollar given by alumni, parents and friends, the donor will match up to $500,000. This will create an even bigger impact at the School of Science and Engineering and the Tulane Brain Institute.

“A good educator does more than just teach,” says Teetsel. “They inspire. That’s what Gary does. He inspires. I’ve taken that desire to learn into my everyday life. And I’m so grateful for that.”

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