"Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel" -- Socrates --

Dr. Andreas Toupadakis

Dr. Andreas Toupadakis, winner of the 7th annual ASUCD Excellence in Education Award as the overall educator of the year 2009 at UC Davis, has been a lecturer in the chemistry department at UC Davis since 2005. He teaches the General Chemistry 2ABC series for first-year students majoring in science and engineering, the Organic Chemistry 118ABC series and the Organic Chemistry 8AB series for second-year students, the Physical Chemistry for Life Sciences 107AB series for third- and fourth-year students, and Chemistry 10 for non science majors.

Andreas also teaches a popular freshman seminar at UC Davis every quarter, entitled, "Success in College and After College: How to Get and Stay on Course". His scientific interests are in green chemistry, better teaching methods, and chemistry book writing and reviewing. His lectures are tuned toward conceptual learning via the Socratic dialogue method.

Born on the beautiful island of Crete in Rethymno, Greece, Andreas Toupadakis received his primary education while living in the mountainous village of Argiroupoli near the coast. After receiving his B.S. in Chemistry from the Aristotelian University in Thessaloniki, he began graduate school in the U.S. He has lived in the U.S. since 1978, and he received his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the University of Michigan in 1990.

Besides currently teaching chemistry at UC Davis, he has also taught chemistry at several other colleges and universities in the U.S. and in Greece, including the University of Crete in Iraklio, and the Nutrition College at the Technology Education Institute in Sitia, Crete. Dr. Toupadakis has also worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and in industry at Dow Corning.

In addition, Dr. Toupadakis has given lectures and written articles on life planning through wise career choice, on career change and career satisfaction, and on sustainable living across campuses in the U.S., Greece, and Japan. His writings have appeared in a number of newspapers and electronic magazines. Andreas often reminds his students of Gandhi's words, "Be the change you want to see in the world"; of Socrates', "Know yourself"; and of Einstein's, "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

His personal Web site,, is devoted to student success during and after college. Dr. Toupadakis spends a great deal of his free time at his organic garden plot, which is provided by the Experimental College Community Garden of UC-DAVIS. He also encourages his students to have their own garden plots. Every year he makes olives and fruit preserves, and recently he has learned to make wine, soap, and herbal vinegar, as well.

Dr. Toupadakis is also the author of three chemistry study guides, CHEMISTRY READER 2A, CHEMISTRY READER 2B, and CHEMISTRY READER 2C, published by the Hayden McNeil publishing company, and which have been received with great enthusiasm by students taking the CHEMISTRY 2ABC series.

Some of his favorite quotes are

"The Seven Blunders that lead to violence: Pleasure without conscience; Wealth without work;
Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity;
Politics without principles; Worship without sacrifice."
-- Mahatma Gandhi --

"It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."
-- Chinese proverb --

"I myself would wish neither; but if it were necessary either to do wrong or to suffer it,
I should choose to suffer rather than to do wrong."
-- Socrates --

"The ideals that have lighted my way and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully,
have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth."
-- Albert Einstein --

"Practice the Truth that your brother is the same as you."
-- Buddha --

"The misdeeds of our rulers become our own, if we, knowing that they are misdeeds,
assist in carrying them out."
-- Leo Tolstoy --

"It is my duty, and mine alone, to save the earth. If it is not saved, then I alone am to blame."
-- Nikos Kazantzakis --

"They only can force me who obey a higher law than I."
-- Henry Thoreau --

" . . . I am poor and naked, but I am the chief of the nation. We do not want riches but we do want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches. We want peace and love."
-- Red Cloud --