Program: Academic TransferEducation/Industry Certifications: Master of Science in Physics, University of New Hampshire; Bachelor of Science in Physics with Astronomy Option and Math Minor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; High School (9-12) Teaching Certificate from the state of Nebraska.Has taught at SCC since: 2001Years of Work Experience Outside SCC: 18. High school science teacher at Lincoln Pius X and Lincoln Northeast high schools; Astronomy professor at University of New Hampshire, Doane, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska Wesleyan University, and College of St. Mary’s; Observational Astronomer at Behlen Observatory; Observatory Director UNH Observatory; Research Scientist for Compton Gamma Ray Observatory UNH-NASA; Science Planning and Scheduling Specialist for Hubble Space Telescope CSC-NASA.Describe your teaching philosophy.To treat each student as I would want to be treated. I also believe that each student has a set of talents that they have been gifted with. I try to encourage those talents to make the student successful in what they want to get accomplished. Why did you decide to teach at a community college?Teaching students is a very rewarding occupation for me. To work at an institution where teaching is your main task was very appealing. Other duties have been very minimal, and that allows me to focus on working with student to the best of my ability. What can prospective students expect when they enroll in your program?Physics is a discipline that most student try to avoid. I try to make the student understand that they can be successful in this challenge. Astronomy is a course that covers the entire universe, and I try to make the student realize there is much more to this fascinating universe than just learning the names of stars and constellations. What experiences outside of SCC do you bring to the classroom/laboratory that enhance student learning?I have spent a great deal of time working with the public and directly in the space program. Both of these have given me a tremendous amount of insight as to what will be required and demanded of students in their future jobs after they complete their studies. What advice do you have for students pursuing a degree in your program? The student should expect to put in a lot of hard work, along with long hours, and be able to overcome disappointment and challenges. When successful, they will discover that they can achieve a great many things with this approach. What do you enjoy most about working with students?Getting students to understand how the universe works and to see the excitement they take on as this universe begin to make more sense to them. Many finish in the course and express how they look at things differently. What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?Working with motivated students. It is wonderful to help a person grow in their life and to help them become a productive part of society.What has been your proudest moment as an instructor?I have been most proud when I have learned that a student has decided to pursue physics or astronomy as a profession. I have also had some students become educators specializing in physics. I also was honored to win the Wekesser Outstanding Teaching Award after being nominated by students. What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?I enjoy watching movies with my wife and traveling with her to different parts of the world. I enjoy gardening and astrophotography. I also do a lot of tinkering and building of things that I engineer.
What would students be surprised to know about you?I think people are surprised to learn that I also am an apiculturist and zymologist. People also are surprised to learn that I worked on two of NASA’s four Great Observatory projects.