Name: Don Wiles
Position: Professor Emeritus
Why does your job make a difference?
My area of expertise is radiochemistry and I retired from Carleton in 1990 (after being a faculty member for 31 years). Since that time I have been teaching undergraduate students in the department of chemistry and, mostly recently, I’ve been leading the first-year seminar in science. We’ve tried to keep the seminar to between 18 to 22 students and I hope that what I am able to do in this small class is give participants a good start to their undergraduate experience here at Carleton. For example, each student has to make an oral presentation to the class and, at the end, I always ask the class to comment on what the speaker did well and what the speaker needs to improve. I always do a presentation myself and ask the students to comment on my work—this seems to build a lot of trust between me and the class.
What inspires you about your job?
Working with students. When I have a class of real “keeners”, their enthusiasm really energizes me.
What are your hobbies?
Reading, English etymology, other languages, music (classical), travelling, writing, to name a few.