Charles W. Mims was born in Waukegan, IL. He received his B.S. degree in botany from McNeese State University and his Ph.D. degree in mycology/ botany from the University of Texas in Austin. He then joined the faculty of the Department of Biology at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX. In August 1986, he moved to the University of Georgia, where he holds the rank of professor of plant pathology.
Dr. Mims has been actively involved in both undergraduate and graduate instruction throughout his career. At Steven Austin University, teaching loads were heavy, averaging three courses per semester. While there, Dr. Mims taught plant pathology, mycology, introductory botany, concepts of biology, biological ultrastructure, and a special mentoring course for graduate teaching assistants. Since moving to the University of Georgia, the nature of his job has changed, but his love for and commitment to teaching have not. In his current position, he teaches introductory mycology and fungi: friends and foes. Additionally, he has served as program director for an NIH-supported training Grant in cellular and molecular biology of fungi.
Dr. Mims is an exceptional educator. He has the ability to communicate effectively in the classroom and to develop exceptional teaching materials. Students praise his skills and talents as a teacher and consistently refer to the energy and fine sense of humor he brings to his classes. He creates a relaxed atmosphere in which students develop confidence, so that they can handle difficult subject matter. While he brings a superb competence to the profession, a major reason for his great success in teaching is his genuine and sincere concern for students. His enthusiasm for and knowledge of fungi, combined with his genuine concern for students, makes him as a colleague has stated, “a highly infectious teacher”.
Dr. Mims’ abilities as a teacher have been recognized nationally as well as locally. In 1988, the Mycological Society of America recognized his special teaching talents by presenting him with the highly prized William H. Weston Award for Teaching Excellence. In 1995 he received the Josiah Meigs Award, the highest award given for teaching at the University of Georgia.
Dr. Mims is co-author of the textbook Introductory Mycology published in 1979 with the late C. J. Alexopoulos. This book has influenced the lives of untold numbers of students in mycology, plant pathology, botany, and microbiology. A new edition of this book written with Dr. Meredith Blackwell was published in 1996.