Program: Academic Transfer (Chemistry and Botany instructor, Beatrice Campus; Science and Math program chair, Beatrice)
Education/Industry Certifications: Master’s degree in Science Education, Kearney State College; Bachelor of Science (Chemistry and Biology), Chadron State College.
Has Taught at SCC Since: 1985
Years of Work Experience Outside SCC: Taught high school math and science classes for 12 years before joining SCC. Spent more than three years in the Navy as a medical corpsman with a tour in Vietnam with the Marines as a combat corpsman. Performed consulting work for a feed supplement and fertilizer company in Fairbury for a couple years back in the early 1990s.
Describe your teaching philosophy.My job is to help students accumulate knowledge, master skills and techniques that they will need in order to be successful in their chosen career path. Along with that I also try to foster a sense of curiosity about the world around them so that they will be informed citizens and intelligent voters on issues dealing with science and technology.
Why did you decide to teach at a community college?After teaching in the public schools for 12 years, I felt I had accomplished as much at that level as I could and was ready for a change. This position became available, and I was lucky enough to get the job. Community college teaching is the right level for me because our function is to teach. We don’t have to worry about publishing and grant writing, which takes an inordinate amount of time at the university level.
What can prospective students expect when they enroll in your program?They will be challenged to do their best. Science is not the easiest topic, and there is a lot of work involved.
What experiences outside of SCC do you bring to the classroom/laboratory that enhance student learning?I think we are all a product of our past experiences, and I use examples from the past as a Navy corpsman (combat medic) and from doing consulting work with local industry to show how what you learn in the classroom/laboratory is put to use out in the world.
What do you enjoy most about working with students?When you see the “light go on” when you know that the student has grasped a concept that has been elusive.
What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?Having the opportunity to work with the students.
What has been your proudest moment as an instructor?When you learn that a former student has been accepted in a professional program and they thank you for all your help in getting them prepared.
What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?Read, bike, hike, and play with grandchildren.
What would students be surprised to know about you?That’s a tough one. Maybe that I worked in the oil fields back when I was an undergraduate.