By Joyrenzia Cheatham; The Whetstone

Q: How long have you been teaching?

A: This is a hard question to answer because I’ve taught at a lot of places and ways since I graduated from high school. I worked in a group home with handicapped adults where we taught basic life skills right after graduation; I went on a mission where I taught people for two years in the Philippines. I taught Tagalog to other young adults heading to the Philippines on missions while I was getting my undergraduate degree. Then I taught classes as a graduate student at Northeastern University. Since I’ve received my PhD, I’ve been teaching for about three years.

Q: How have you changed your style since you started teaching?

A: I’ve become a lot more interactive since I started teaching. I used to do more lecturing and telling people what to do. Now I try to get my students doing things while I help them.

Q: What have you taught at Wesley and what are you currently teaching?

A: I’ve taught Asian and world history here and I am currently teaching World History to 1500, World History since 1500, Intro to History, and Modern Islamic Societies: Family, Faith, and Terror

Q: What rewards do you personally get from teaching?

A: My favorite thing about teaching is getting to know my students and seeing them progress in my classes. I love watching my students grow not only intellectually but also as people more generally.

Q: Where did you go to school and what was your major?

A: I started at Boise State University, then transferred and graduated from Brigham Young University with a major in history and a minor in media arts. For graduate school, I got a master’s in public history at Northeastern University, and later I got my PhD in history from there, too.

Q: What drew you major and teach history?

A: It’s hard to pin down why I am so drawn to history. I really enjoy learning about the world and why it is the way it is, and I think history is the best way to do that. I also like it because there are no limits. It gives me the opportunity to delve into almost anything from almost any angle.

Q: What was your worst or most interesting job as a student?

A: My most interesting job was working with handicapped adults. Every day was challenging, and I learned a lot about myself and others through that job. We had some really great days and some really terrible ones, but I really grew to love the people I was working with. So on the whole it was very rewarding.

Q: Where were you born and raised?

A: I was born in the Philippines and raised in Idaho.

Q: What is your favorite movie?

A: This is also a hard question. I think the answer changes every time I get asked this question. Today I’ll go with Stranger than Fiction.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. There are a lot of reasons why the Book of Mormon is my favorite, but many of those are pretty personal. It inspires me to be a better person, and it’s gotten me through some tough times. I feel uplifted and more generous when I read it.

Q: Who is your favorite artist and favorite song and why?

A: Alicia Keys “If I Ain’t Got You.” Alicia Keys is my favorite artist because of both her writing and her voice. In terms of writing, she uses very basic metaphors and ideas, but she makes them seem new and refreshing. Her voice is strong and clean. She doesn’t dance around the note, she just hits them and holds them.