Longtime chemistry professor retires


John Pellerin

This year, NVU-Johnson says goodbye to t John Pellerin, associate professor of environmental and health sciences

Pellerin joined the faculty at Lyndon State College in 1989 before moving to Johnson State in 2004.

In his own quiet way, Pellerin has influenced generations of students during his 33 years of teaching.

“I cannot say enough positive things about John,” says one of his current students, Lily Mulin. “He was born to teach. He takes time and considers every question he’s asked. He goes above and beyond to help his students.”

Pellerin is often found on the third floor of WLLC with students, helping them fully understand the course material.

“He even offers extra tutoring for those taking physics,” says Mulin. “It’s obvious that he wants us to do well and takes it personally if there are any issues.”

Even his colleagues recognize the extra work he put into each of his students.

“John has been a wonderful colleague and inspiration during his time at NVU,” says Emily Tarleton, assistant professor of environmental and health sciences. “His dedication to students, during and outside of class, is difficult to match. Chemistry is a tough subject for many (including myself!) and he is always willing to spend extra time explaining difficult concepts.”

Pellerin’s personal warmth will certainly be missed. “Even through a mask, you can tell he has a bright smile, and I am going to miss it after he retires,” continues Mulin. “He has a witty sense of humor that keeps chemistry entertaining. He treats all of his students with the utmost respect because he sees us as his future equals. Bottom line, John is a wonderful professor and I feel blessed to have had him as a professor.”

Although Pellerin’s time with NVU is coming to a close, his presence will remain in halls of Bentley.

“With the recent retirement of many Environmental and Health Sciences faculty, John has been invaluable in adding a historical perspective to department decisions and he is always willing to lend an ear,” says Tarleton. “We are losing a great teacher and friend and I will continue to pull as many gems from him as possible until his very last day! He will truly be missed!”

Professor of Writing and Literature Tyrone Shaw has enjoyed Pellerin’s laid-back collegiality since the chemistry professor took up office residence down the hall from him on the third floor of the Willey Library and Learning Center. He says that Pellerin has, in his quiet way, been a model of dedication to the art of teaching.

“I am always amazed by the time John spends outside of class with students as he patiently helps them understand the mysteries of chemistry, a notoriously difficult subject. He’s always patient, always approachable, and above all, always kind.”

Shaw says that, during his time as chair of the Faculty Assembly, he was impressed by Pellerin’s steady advocacy for students and making academic policies more student-friendly.

“He was the clear voice on the Academic Status Committee for student empowerment,” said Shaw. “He long advocated for a change in policy that would allow students to withdraw from a course right up until the last day of the semester, which unfortunately is not the case now. I agree with him that it should be, but the policy, except for a brief adoption during the height of COVID, remains as it is. He always has tried to see things from the students’ perspective.”

Interim Academic Dean Les Kanat, who worked with Pellerin before retiring from his job as professor of geology at NVU-Johnson, notes Pellerin’s dedication to his students was unquestionable. “John… remains a trusted colleague whose discussions and decisions always focused on ways to benefit our students,” he said. “He teaches chemistry in ways where everyone learns, independent of their starting point or their aspirations. One could always find John in the chemistry labs, or in common spaces, working with students and keeping all of us smiling.”