By Brooke Retkowski, The Whetstone
Q: How long have you been a professor?
A: This is my second year at Wesley and I taught for three years at BYU-Idaho before that. So I have been teaching for five years total.
Q: Since you have been teaching for five years so far, in what ways have you changed your style in teaching?
A: I have changed a lot. When I first started teaching, the courses were pretty much just handed to me. So it told me these are the assignments that I have to teach, and the lesson plans that go along with that. But now I am doing everything, so that is very different for me in my approach to classes. Some assignments do not work well for some students when other assignments do. When things don’t quite hit the way I want them to, I adjust mid-stream.
Q: What are some ways that you adjust when students don’t quite understand what you are teaching?
A: I typically change the assignment based on the class’ needs. Sometimes I come in and the class is super-tired and I have to find a way to get them talking about different things based on the class. I also try my best to get creative when it comes to the assignments to keep the class interesting.
Q: What are the current courses you teach at Wesley?
A: This semester I am teaching Media in Your Life, Digital Imaging, Digital Illustration, and Web Design. I am also advising senior projects.
Q: When did you first become a designer?
A: I started designing in 2011, and that is when I first started getting client work. I have been designing for my family and friends for almost twelve years now. I love it!
Q: Where did you go to college and what was your major?
A: I went to BYU-Idaho and my major was communication. I emphasized courses in public relations and visual communication. Those were the two areas that I had taken courses in and focused on.
Q: Why were you so interested in this field?
A: One of the required courses when I was getting my communications bachelor’s degree was an introduction to visual communications. We covered Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign all in one class, which was intense. But I really liked it, so I looked into other classes that my professor was teaching. I took a Photoshop class and a photography class and I really liked those subjects and they just kind of spoke to me.
Q: Are you married, and do you have any children?
A: I have been married for 11 years, and I have five amazing children with my wife.
Q: How has being a designer and teacher impacted your family?
A: I love teaching because I get summers off and I get Christmas off, so that’s a nice amount of time where I can just focus on my family. But the downside is the rest of the school year I don’t really get time off. If I am caught up on my grading and my office hours and teaching is all done then there is my family time at the end of the day, but a lot of times I have to still grade in the evening and things like that.
Q: Do you see yourself doing something other than this field in the future?
A: I found my calling in the classroom. I have tried my hand elsewhere but it just did not appeal to me. It is a higher purpose for me in education, so I see myself staying within this field for a long time.