Richard Pennington
Top Claw Recipient

Dr. Richard Pennington

Professor of Chemistry

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Dr. Richard Pennington hails from just north of Manchester, England, and will happily discuss the performance of Manchester United in the British Premier League with anyone who is interested.

Pennington uses a variant of the “flipped classroom” approach, whereby he gives the students tools to effectively prepare for class (documents that clearly outline the entire semester day by day, a readable textbook, self-made preparatory videos to help understand concepts in a fluid environment). A class of well-prepared students means that class time can be focused on student questions, as well as students demonstrating proficiency of the required material through problem solving sessions. This approach maximizes the efficiency of student-instructor contact time and allows students to be engaged with the instructor, as well as with each other.

Pennington uses this approach for all of his chemistry classes, whether he is teaching freshman science majors, sophomore science majors or non-science majors. He has experienced a high level of success with each different class he has taught.

Pennington lives in Dacula with his wife Amanda (who recently graduated with her BSN from Emory University) along with their 7 year old daughter Carly, their 4 year old son Wyatt and cats Bond and Moneypenny.

Pennington enjoys spending time with his family, as well as playing soccer and tennis. He has used Crossfit off and on over the past few years and also enjoys running. He also spends way too much time playing games on his PlayStation 3. He is not ashamed to admit that he also enjoys watching professional wrestling.


  • Doctorate – organic chemistry – University of Wyoming
  • Bachelor's – chemistry (w/ Spanish minor) – University of East Anglia

Academic Interests

  • Using technology to help students prepare more effectively for class
  • Student-engagement heavy teaching methods
  • Organic synthesis as a teaching tool


  • Outstanding Teaching Award, College of Saint Mary (2005 – 2006)
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Georgia Gwinnett College (2012 – 2013)
  • Regents Teaching Excellence Award, University System of Georgia Board of Regents (2012 – 2013)