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Head of Class: Dr. Timothy Niiler – Jack of All Trades 

Dr. Timothy Niiler Photo Courtesy of Amanda Congialdi

Dr. Timothy Niiler is an exciting per­son with an impressive life resume.

From the University of Delaware, he earned a Ph.D. in Biomechanics and Move­ment Sciences and a B.S. in Physics. Addi­tionally, he earned an M.A. in Astronomy from Boston University.

Dr. Niiler continues his ties with Del­aware via A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, where his research involves determining the effects of various orthopedic interventions.

Dr. Niiler is a jack of many trades here at Bran­dywine, teaching students in the fields of Physics, As­tronomy and Tai Chi. The last is a course designed to introduce students to a traditional Chinese system of personal cultivation and self-defense. Of the courses Dr. Niiler teaches, the class he enjoys teaching most is the one that is not so common – Tai Chi.

“This is the one where I am interacting with students the most,” Niiler said.

Niiler enjoys this particular course because it involves more hands-on teaching, which makes it easier to con­nect and receive feedback from his students.

“I like it the best because you can see imme­diate progress and you are able to see day-to-day im­provements,” Niiler said.

A father of an 8-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter, Dr. Niiler has invested more than a decade in becoming a family man. His wife of 11 years is an in­structor as well at West Chester University. Of the many memories together, taking a trip to Spain and walking the Camino remains one of his fondest. Dr. Niiler’s life on a daily basis is generally busy and chaotic. However, being able to experience living life in another country, in a place where there are no obligations, Dr. Niiler was able to see life differently.

“You’re living day-to-day. You don’t have a calendar. When you are on the Comino…nothing.” Ni­iler said. “You’re carrying all the belongings you need. It sort of makes you wonder about all the other stuff.”

Dr. Niiler knows it is a luxury having been able to walk the Camino once, and being able to one day take another trip there is a future goal he hopes to ac­complish. But above all, having kids is his biggest ac­complishment in life.

“The fact that my kids seem to be mostly all right, I consider myself fortunate,” Niiler said.

Looking forward, Dr. Niiler not only wishes for his two children to be successful, he also hopes to improve his teachings and research.

“I want to communicate the enjoyment I find in a lot of material to students and become more of an accomplished researcher,” Niiler said.

Dr. Niiler expressed his interest in one of the more famous, motivating quotes in recent years.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond mea­sure.”

A quote meant to shed inspiration and light for people to become leaders and help those around them become leaders, Dr. Niiler certainly seems to have closely paid attention to the true meaning.

 

 Amanda Congialdi

Lion’s Eye Staff Writer, amc6079@psu.edu

 

 

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