By Brielle Braxton-Young, The Whetstone
Q: How many years have you been teaching at Wesley?
A: I’ve been terrorizing students for 26 going on 27 years now.
Q: What courses here at Wesley do you teach?
A: I teach a Public Speaking course, along with freshmen seminar and a Third-level seminar. I also teach higher-level communication classes, and this is my first semester teaching a non-verbal communication class. It’s called “What you say without words.”
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: I love working with animals! I even raise money for pet rescues. I really enjoy taking care of family, pets, and doing things around the house. Also, I created bird baths for the birds this past summer.
Q: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
A: Dedicated, because I am very dedicated to what I do. Hardworking, because I always push myself. And focused, because I pay very close attention.
Q: Where did you attend college and what did major/minor in?
A: I attended college at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. I was a business major with a minor in marketing and that’s where I got my Bachelor’s degree from. I stayed at ASU and I got my Master’s degree in Communications, then I finally went to Penn State, and that’s where I got my PhD in Speech with a focus on interpersonal communications, statistics and research methods.
Q: What made you decide to go into the teaching field?
A: A part of it is because I knew as a kid I didn’t have great math skills and my English skills were way better. I wanted to be a teacher, but I didn’t want to become an English teacher because there weren’t a lot of jobs available. So, that’s how I became drawn into teaching communication and I felt that being in that field would create a whole new world for me.
Q: What made you want to teach college students out of all the levels of teaching?
A: In college, I really liked my professors, and I wondered how great would it be to help other students. I also wondered how hard it must be for students the ages of 17, 18, 19, fresh out of high school going on to make big decisions. I mean, going to college and having to make a career path for yourself for the rest of your life, that’s pretty hard. Although I went to college much older, I was still interested in the aspect of helping those who needed it.
Q: Do you feel as if students benefit from your class?
A: I feel like most of them do. Some achieve more than others but I want them all to get better and they do, from the time we do the first speech up until the last I see various types of improvement.
Q: What changes have you made throughout your years here teaching at Wesley?
A: I find out from students what’s working and what’s not. Once I get feedback or I see there is a problem I’ll change something. In my Public Speaking course years ago we only did one speech. But now we do two and I also have class practice. From then to now, I can see improvement and I feel like that came from students telling me what they struggled with and it helped my students grow throughout the course.
Q: Is there a certain protocol that needs to be followed to be successful in your class, or does it depend on the student?
A: I lay out my syllabus and I always answer questions. The only way a student can fail in my class is if they do not do the assignments. The biggest thing in my class that I cannot stress enough is be on time. Do everything early. Get the book, and meet all deadlines. Also, your topic of your speech, you should have that by the beginning of the second week. If you don’t have it then, I know you’re going to have a hard time in the class.