Bainbridge State College mourns the loss of one of its most valued professors.
On Thursday, Sept. 3, Dr. Eric Dueno, BSC Professor of Chemistry, passed away.
“Eric was a dedicated faculty member, a wonderful friend and advisor to many, and a valuable asset to our college, community and region,” said Dr. Richard Carvajal, BSC President. “We as a college family are hurting. By leaning on one another, we gain strength and we can begin to heal.”
Dr. Eric Dueno taught at BSC for seven years. During that time, he taught and made a difference in the lives of countless students.
Zenil Patel, one of Dueno’s students, said, “He was not only a great teacher in class, but also outside the classroom. He was a great mentor to me.”
Recalling Dueno’s love for running, Patel remembered his professor inviting him to go for a run with him.
“I went running with Dr. Dueno a couple of times and he would always motivate me by saying I was fast—when I knew I really wasn’t. That’s just what type person he was—an encourager and motivator,” he said.
The professor’s passion was teaching. He loved to teach and meet new students each semester.
Joann Simpson, Dean of Arts and Sciences, said, “His students loved him. Dr. Dueno not only instilled his love for sciences in them—He also taught them about life. He encouraged his students and helped them reach their dreams just as he was determined to reach his. He made college more than just a textbook study. Students were taught life lessons that they will never forget.”
Dueno is also revered for being a devoted family member. Dr. Michael Kirkland, Professor of History, said, “You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat their time and money.”
It was no secret that Dueno loved his dad, Col. Hector Dueno. Countless times, father and son visited local schools to conduct chemistry experiments. He even honored his dad by establishing an annual scholarship in his name, which he presented to two deserving students on honor’s night. This demonstrated just how much he admired his dad for his service in the military.
Another activity Dueno supported to benefit veterans was the Purple Heart 5K Race held on the Bainbridge State College campus annually. He gave his time and knowledge to help the community with this event for the Wounded Warriors Project.
Throughout the College family, many memories and stories have been shared.
Dr. Roger Lunt, Professor of Social Science, remembered the first day he met Dueno.
The chair of Arts and Sciences showed Lunt around the College and then introduced him to Eric Dueno as “a man who likes to fish.”
The two colleagues formed a friendship and spent many days fishing—many times in the Gulf.
“What does it mean to be a friend?” asked Lunt.
“It means you are dependable, trustworthy, willing to help if asked and perhaps, most importantly; it’s somebody you like,” he continued. “I don’t know of anything else that could be said that would express the feelings we all have for Eric in a better way. He was my friend.”