Dr. George Thyvelikakath
Professor of Chemistry
"Parents, teachers, students and society are all responsible for making students thirsty and motivated to learn.” This motivation is what Dr. George Thyvelikakath (known as Dr. George) has spent over 30 years of his life attempting to inspire in each of his students at Oral Roberts University.
Born in Cochin, India, he originally started out with a passion for politics. His father believed politics and his devotion to Christ were too dangerous of a combination to risk in India. In an effort to gain better opportunities for success, George’s father sent his transcripts to America so that he could attend college and expand his education. He was also hoping George traveling to America would get him out of politics, and it certainly did. A defining moment in Dr. George’s life was when a close friend of his died of cancer, probing him to become more curious about cancer research and birthing a love for chemistry.
After gaining further knowledge from numerous universities, he found his way to the Chemistry Department at ORU. One thing that drew Dr. George to ORU was the spiritual aspect that is incorporated in the curriculum. He says, “I wanted to grow in spirit as well as advance professionally but also associate with students and faculty who believe in the energizing power of prayer.”
Dr. George is now a tenured professor of chemistry at Oral Roberts University. He was the chairman of Chemistry Department from 1987-1998 and served as dean of the School of Arts and Sciences from 1998-2007. He has received numerous awards including faculty member of the year, outstanding teacher of the year, University Arts and Sciences Performance Award, and many others in recognition of his outstanding teaching and his displays of humanitarian acts. Through all his work and dedication to cancer research, the National Cancer Institute awarded him a $131,902 grant as an associate investigator to study “Metabolism of Nitrosoureas” (anticancer drugs). He has served as American Chemical Society Tour Speaker since 1984 and also serves as a Career Planning Consultant for the American Chemical Society (1990 to present) and as Local Section Career Program Coordinator for American Chemical Society National office (1996 to 1998).
He has authored many texts through the years that are even used at ORU including the book, Cancer: Chemistry of Selected Anticancer Drugs. His explanation for the writings, “publish or perish.” He feels like it is his duty to contribute to others through research. In fact, Dr. George loves to contribute in any and all ways that he can think of. He enjoys expanding his knowledge so that he is able to effectively teach his students.
In his free time George likes to involve himself in many different clubs, one in particular is the Rotary club where they collect money to help third world countries and the local community. He also likes to spend time with his wife, Mary, and his students since they are what he considers his children.