I chose this profession because I wanted to teach. I was an engineer for about 10 years and I had gotten to the point where I found that I was interested in other things, so I went to seminary and earned a Master of Divinity degree. Although I initially wanted to teach, I thought that my academic performance was not high enough. However, I was encouraged by one of my professors to apply to a doctoral program. I looked again at my academic record and it was not as bad as I had thought. I took a chance and left my job.
It is difficult to say what my proudest professional accomplishment is because I feel very fortunate just to be teaching—simply the whole teaching experience. One very memorable occasion, though, is being presented with the MLK award.
Learning to Learn
My biggest goal is to help students learn how to learn. I use a number of techniques to accomplish this goal. One of them is to have the students present the material to the rest of the class. The other technique is that instead of a final exam we have a town meeting where students will discuss a number of agreed upon topics from the perspective of the religion that they presented in class.
My travels to Africa and India have provided me with very interesting research material that I use as I teach. Being able to convey what an experience is, like attending a religious service, helps students envision what others might get out of a certain experience. Sometimes students do not understand why a particular religious service is important. However, when I explain to them what is actually going on through pictures, it helps them to understand what I am trying to convey.
Favorite Part of the Job
My favorite part is seeing students get excited about their work and the work of other students and the material that we are examining.
A Unique Campus
Mount Union is unique because of its students, faculty and staff and the collaboration that occurs to help students to prepare for "fulfilling lives, meaningful work and responsible citizenship.” There is a synergy in this place that has been here for a long time and has figured prominently in this institution’s success. It is my hope that we continue to foster collaboration and respect and maintain high academic, civic and social integrity in all that we do.
I think we prepare students through our commitments to better our profession and society. We also strive to work with others.