Discover Your Island

Dr. Gregory W. Buck

An Outstanding Islander

Photo of Dr. Gregory W. Buck

Exceeding All Expectations

Over the last 13 years Dr. Gregory Buck has taught at the Island University, he has rarely forgotten a name or a face. That is the same way former students fondly remember the Associate Professor of Biology and Biomedical Sciences in the Department of Life Sciences.

Buck, who is said to go the extra mile for his undergraduate and research students, was recently recognized for his outstanding mentoring skills by the Honors Program at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

“I feel that mentoring is a worthwhile endeavor,” said Buck. “Many of our students don’t know how to navigate the maze of higher education, especially as first-generation college students; it is my job to help them.”

On campus, Buck leads a microbiology research lab where students have the opportunity to take what they learned in class and apply it as real-world research. His lab focuses on bacteria that can cause severe human illness such as Vibrio vulnificus and E. coli. During his campus career, Buck has taught more than 4,000 students. His academic mission is to push his students to think critically and to prepare them for excellence in their future endeavors. Many of the students who take Buck’s rigorous classes are preparing to become pharmacists, dentists, doctors, researchers, teachers, and veterinarians.

“When students come out of my class, they may not remember everything about every microbe they ever studied,” said Buck. “But, if they learn to think critically when they see something completely new, they will rise to the challenge and be able to think through it for themselves.”

Buck has written more than 150 evaluation letters for students applying to professional schools. In 2003 and 2004, Buck was also named the “Most Challenging Professor” by Alpha Epsilon Delta Health Pre-Professional Honor Society. He says he received this honor because he is constantly pushing his students to exceed all expectations.

“If I do my job correctly, my students will surpass me,” he said. “But I don’t mind; that’s my success. That will be my legacy.”