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7 Orbitals: What’s Happening in Chemistry Circles

March 3, 2008

I was floored like everyone else upon opening what I thought was another issue of Orbitals. The only professor at Texas A&M to truly have an impact on life was gone. Not only was Dr. Hogg a phenomenal teacher of chemistry, he also excelled as a teacher of life.

Dr. Hogg impressed me from the day I met him during orientation. His love of chemistry was obvious, but his enthusiasm to make us love it too was what excited me the most. My very first lecture at A&M, in the fall of 2000, was with Dr. Hogg in Organic Chemistry. After welcoming us and briefly introducing himself, he exclaimed that this class had something like 8 to 11 freshman – the most ever. He went on to tell the upperclassmen that he would give them our names so they could “take us out back,” and beat us up later. How could I not love this guy?

While I did well in my two semesters with him, I turned out to be more interested in medicine than chemistry, and thus began focusing less on my major. For brevity, I’ll simply say that he is the reason I was able to stick it out and graduate on time with a degree in the field he loved so much. I am currently in medical school, and I owe so much to Dr. Hogg for helping me get here.

One example of the type of man he was occurred about a year ago. My discussion group was struggling with the way to calculate different formulas of drips. I decided to email the question to Dr. Hogg, not really expecting a reply. I was wrong to doubt him. He not only answered my question that day, but also wanted to know everything I had been up to and offered to answer any questions I had in the future.

My sorrows go out to his family, friends, and to Texas A&M. Dr. Hogg, I am forever grateful.

Justin Amaro President, Medical Student Government Association Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine – Bradenton

I honestly have avoided writing this for weeks. Looking back, my career in chemistry at Texas A&M - both as an undergraduate and graduate student - was shaped by this straight-forward, generous teacher and mentor. I spent nine years in the hallways of Texas A&M, and many hours sitting in Dr. Hogg's office seeking advice in courses and career.

I have two great memories of Dr. Hogg. The first, while this is difficult to admit, was one that does not begin well, but in the end showed the kind of character that I hope to demonstrate as I interact with students. Dr. Hogg did not believe that I belonged in graduate school, and in ways he was right, after all, I was a lazy sophomore organic student, and I struggled in some upper-level courses. I did have the intellect, but he wasn't sure that I had the drive. After spending the first semester of my first year as a graduate student on probation, Dr. Hogg actually came to my lab to apologize and to congratulate my success in my graduate courses. My grades and effort exceeded his expectations. I will admit, that his straight-forward analysis of my undergraduate performance was the fuel that I needed to succeed in graduate school. I am glad that he was honest with me, but equally glad to see a man humble enough to congratulate me when I achieved success.

The second great memory of Dr. Hogg came in April, 1997. My research advisor was not in the habit of hooding Ph.D. students, and so I asked Dr. Hogg to hood me, and he gladly accepted. I still remember

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