"Come to the Gardens" - Andreas Toupadakis , 2005-Present
Andreas Toupadakis is a very inspirational chemistry professor at UC Davis. He moved to America from Greece in 1978 and received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan. He has worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and in industry at Dow Corning. 1
Known for being almost too happy, Professor Toupadakis emphasizes learning to be happy, working hard and finding a place where you belong. He teaches Chem 2 ABC, Chem 10 and Physical Chemistry for Life Sciences. He has written chemistry study guides for the entire Chem 2 series. Every year he gives away handmade soap with a carving of the "Life Curve" to his highest-scoring student.
He is often trying to get students to appreciate chemistry, school, or just life in general. His main website is http://thelifecurve.com/
Apparently he resigned in 2000 from a well paying position at the Lawrence Livermore lab when he found out that his work was being used to develop stronger nuclear weapons: http://www.westbynorthwest.org/andreasnotebook/index.shtml
=== Life Goal ===
Professor Toupadakis eventually hopes to establish an educational reform. He believes that the current system should shift its focus from GPA to truly allowing students to learn and understand the topic. He also believes that because so much attention has been put on GPA, students do not seek to do what they truly love. In that sense, he frequently emphasizes that students should do what they love.
"Only happiness can lead the world to peace. People who work just to pay their bills are missing the meaning of life. The world needs more happy people. It needs more people who work using their talents, who earn their living by doing what they like. These people have found their true self, peace, and joy; they are fulfilled and in harmony by knowing who they are and by what they do in their life." -Andreas Toupadakis, Ph.D.
From his essay Follow Your Heart
Dr. Toupadakis is known for encouraging students to "come to the gardens." While he does the actual gardening, he especially likes it when students bring their own instruments to play there: harmonicas, guitars, ukuleles, sitars, etc.