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Dr. Bob Nerbun,
Professor of Physics
"I cannot believe that God would choose to play dice with the universe." -- Albert Einstein, physicist.
In 1973 after completing his PH.D. in nuclear physics at Case Western Reserve University, Bob joined USC Sumter to pursue his life-long desire to teach physics. Since then he has taught both algebra and calculus-based physics, physical science, astronomy, and engineering courses. In 1979-80 he taught in an NSF funded graduate program for high school teachers. This program included both physics and education courses for pre-college teachers of physics and physical science.
At present he is working to transform his teaching by incorporating active learning techniques into his classroom teaching with microcomputer demonstrations that include real-time analysis of experimental data, and he continues to work at adding humor to his physics classes.
"Some day, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides, and gravity, we will harness for God the energies of love; and then for the second time in the history of the world man will have discovered fire!" -- Teilhard de Chardin, philosopher.
In 1994 Bob returned to full-time teaching after serving for 18 years as Chair of the division of Science, Mathematics, and Engineering. During that time his interests were, in part, focused on science education, serving as the Executive Director of the S.C. Junior Academy of Science and President of the S.C. Academy of Science. He served on the Board of Trustees for the S.C. Governor's School for Science and Mathematics in Hartsville from it's beginning in 1987 until 2000.
"I have been asked whether I would agree that the tragedy of the scientist is that he is able to bring about great advances in our knowledge, which mankind may then proceed to use for purposes of destruction. My answer is that this is not the tragedy of the scientist; it is the tragedy of mankind." -- Leo Szilard, physicist.
Bob's personal interests include his family and his children's interests in sports, especially basketball. Bob continues his long-time interest in family life issues. In 1984 after completing a 12-month certification program, Bob was certified as a Natural Family Planning (NFP) Practitioner by the Creighton University School of Medicine. Since that time he has worked with his wife Ann, who is also a certified NFP Practitioiner, to provide introductory programs for couples interested in effective family planning done naturally.
"Confused about ethical behavior ... let's start with the four classic virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance. In addition ... we have three religious (theological) virtues: faith, hope and charity." -- James W. Dally, engineer.
Since 1985 Bob and his wife pursued their passion for chastity-based sexuality education for families through an organization called Family Honor. Bob's program presentations for parents and parents with their pre-adolescents or adolescents include communication skills, psycho-sexual development of the child, fertility information, presentation of a wholistic view of human sexuality, and nurturing virtuous behavior, especially the virtue of chastity. In the late 1990's Family Honor's focus on parental-adolescent connectedness was validated by several major studies involving nearly 100,000 adolescents. These studies reported that cohesive families with high levels of parent-adolescent connectedness are the single most important factor ini helping adolescents to make good life decisions and avoid destructive behaviors.
Favorite Quote: Nemo dat quad non habit. (You cannot give what you do not have.)
It's been my experience that the great adventure of "life" provides opportunities to do something unusal and/or of great merit. For me this has occurred at least four times. In each of these four cases I have been blessed with the grace needed to accept the challenge provided, and this has lead to a life filled with the following experiences and continuing adventures:
Marriage to my wonderful wife, Ann, in August 1972
A lifetime commitment with my wife Ann to have a large family (seven children and now grandchildren)
The blessing to be able to take my motherinto our home and to have our family care for her during the five years before she dies (January 1977)
To experience the building of a house together with my wife, children, son-in-law, brothers-in-law, and good family friends from all over South Carolina.
This last adventure began in the fall of 1997 with the dream of building a log house. It ended late in the summer of 1998 with a log house, which is now our home on Lake Dogwood. During the winter of 1997-98 our family planned the interior of the house, while working with a log house shell we had selected. The house was designed to be a simple structure that would serve our family for many years to come. Working through the warm days on weekends in the spring of 1998, our family worked to clear much of our land of unwanted brush and small trees. From mid-May through mid-August we worked to build the house ourselves with appropriate assistance from sub-contractors.
The building of our house was very special for many reasons. Often the work was an application of problem solving that is typical of physics and engineering problems. Frequently the solutions or techniques used to overcome problems were the very concepts of mathematics, physics, and engineering which are a part of my classroom instruction. Addditionally, during this project several of my children matured significantly right before my eyes. Finally, the building process contained a few but significant, slower, quiet moments where I or my wife could work together with one of our children. These opportunities allowed us to share and discuss with them the BIG questions of life: What is life for? Whom am I? What is my purpose in life? For this we are eternally grateful, Deo Gratias!