Piedmont a ‘Cozy’ Fit for Nature Lover Dr. Tim Menzel
This series spotlights the people who educate Piedmont University students. We ask them about their childhood, their first jobs, and why they love what they do.
Biology Professor Dr. Tim Menzel is from the Northeast and lived much of his life in New Jersey. He started bird watching (and writing music) when he was 7.
“When I was young, I wanted to know about the different kinds of living things, the different species of birds and mammals and trees,” Menzel said. “Over time, my interests have expanded to the forces of nature that shape the world around us.”
His first job at a grocery store didn’t offer much in the way of nature, but Menzel did learn to bag and ring up products quickly. He also learned how to tie a tie, which was required attire at the Foodtown in South Plainfield, New Jersey.
Menzel wanted an occupation that would allow him opportunities to explore nature. Higher education would do just that. If he weren’t teaching at a university, Menzel said he would probably be “hanging around one.” He referred to higher education as is his natural habitat.
Nature drew Menzel to Piedmont, and the people made an impression.
“Piedmont first got my attention because it is named for the physiographic region it lies in,” Menzel said. “After visiting, I was struck by its coziness. Everyone knew each other. So many of the faculty were interesting and fun to talk with. It has grown a lot but still feels that way to me.”
Menzel hopes Piedmont will continue to grow while also preserving its strengths. He enjoys pursuing his passion at the university.
“I am thankful every day that I have a job that allows me to devote so much of my time to thinking about the things that interest me. Teaching about nature also gives me great purpose, and I hope my enthusiasm rubs off on my students and motivates them to learn more.”