Nimmo Brings Problem-Solving Skills to Role as Interim VPAA
If there is anything Piedmont University Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Steve Nimmo loves more than fishing, it is those light bulb moments when a student grasps a mathematical concept.
“You have found the way for them to figure out how to understand it,” Nimmo said. “Finding what works for a particular student, that’s where I find the pleasure in teaching.”
Just as he has as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Piedmont since 2009, Nimmo will continue to teach while taking on additional VPAA responsibilities. He particularly enjoys teaching students who are non-mathematics majors. He makes the subject engaging for those who may be intimidated by it or who are simply not interested.
“I choose to use a type of approach where I use very non-typical topics,” Nimmo said. “We talk about things like mathematics and voting. This past year, we studied ancient ways of counting. I try to find things they’ve not seen.”
As a mathematician, Nimmo is a natural problem-solver.
“The ability to solve problems is what I like about the job, and there is uniqueness at every turn,” he said. “As a dean and administrator, it’s the ability to impact more students by working with faculty. As VPAA, I will be able to take my ideas and share them not just in the College of Arts & Sciences, but in all four Colleges.”
Nimmo has been drawn to mathematics since kindergarten, when he memorized the multiplication tables a brother three years older brought home. He has a twin sister, Becky, and because he arrived in the world 13 minutes ahead of her, he is exactly in the middle of five siblings. At the Nimmo house, it was never “if” but “‘when” the children would attend college. All five were first-generation college students.
Like so many undergraduates, Nimmo didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life when he went to college. He kept on course with a subject he understood and enjoyed. He earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics at Monmouth College, a small, private school much like Piedmont. He achieved a master’s and Ph.D. in mathematics at Iowa State University.
Nimmo found his place in higher education, rising to a full professor and then eventually to associate dean for academic affairs at Morningside College before coming to Piedmont.
Outside of academia, Nimmo likes to relax and read. He takes his boat out when he can to fish for crappie, blue gill, and bass. It may be true that a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work, but Nimmo loves what he does. He believes in Piedmont and its potential.
“There is a lot of promise to make this place even more special than it already is,” Nimmo said. “When I first got here, people said Piedmont was the best-kept secret in Northeast Georgia. It’s past time we stopped being a secret and became a well-known entity. We’re on our way and getting that done.”