Dear Professor Nikonov
Please accept this correspondence from a Brock Alumna as a tribute to Professor Tomas Hudlicky’s scientific accomplishments and his life-long teaching career. As Professor Hudlicky’s former student and a 2005 Brock graduate, I felt compelled to write a letter expressing my deepest gratitude for everything Professor Hudlicky has done to help me grow as a scientist and as a human being. When I joined Professor’s Hudlicky’s lab as an undergraduate research assistant, I quickly realized how fortunate I was to learn organic synthesis and research conduct from an accomplished scientist and possibly one of the best natural product chemists of our time. Indeed, it was a rare opportunity. Professor Hudlicky made research exciting and organic synthesis a calling. I learned not only to perform synthesis but also research ethics as they apply to any scientific discipline. I became confident in myself as a scientist, and the skills I gained in Professor Hudlicky’s lab have served me well throughout my scientific endeavors.
Of course, I was not the only one whose professional career was propelled forward as a result of Professor Hudlicky’s mentorship. Over the course of his academic career, Professor Hudlicky has taught and graduated hundreds if not thousands of students, all of whom went on to have very successful and fulfilling careers in pharmaceutical industry, academia or government sectors. When I graduated from Brock University in 2005, I knew that I had a bright future ahead of me because Professor Hudlicky’s students were highly sought after due to their unparalleled expertise in organic synthesis. After all, natural product synthesis is a very difficult and technically challenging skill and often is the only viable route for the production of life-saving pharmaceuticals and therapeutics. Professor Hudlicky has selflessly shared his knowledge and expertise with all of his students, and I will be forever grateful to Professor Hudlicky’s willingness to teach and inspire a whole generation of elite chemists who have contributed tremendously to not only big pharma industry or scientific community but also to the society as a whole. Brock University is indeed fortunate to have scholars of Professor Hudlicky’s caliber and dedication to mentorship and research.
Finding myself at a point in my professional life where I can sit back and reflect on whom I need to thank for helping me to achieve my career goals, I wanted to take the time and express my sincerest appreciation to Brock University and its trustees for creating an environment that is conducive to scientific advances. Brock has always been able to retain the best intellectual minds. Undoubtedly, these are the values and principles that have made Brock University an academic institution of choice for me over twenty years ago and will advance my alma mater into the future.
Oksana M. Pavlyuk, PhD
Brock University Alumna
Public Health and Preventive Medicine Department
US Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine