New semester means new professors, and Huntington University has a whole lineup prepared for the 2013-2014 school year. Get to know Dr. Dan Dobbs –future professor within the math department.
How long have you been teaching?
Each semester for the last seven years. I consider myself lucky that I have been able to teach every semester of my graduate program.
What degrees and academic honors have you earned?
Homeschooled in high school, public school prior to that. B.S. in biology with a minor in music performance from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, graduating summa cum laude. I am currently wrapping up my Ph.D. in ecological and evolutionary biology from Indiana University.
What classes will you be teaching?
This fall, I will be teaching Botany and Microbiology for Health Sciences.
What is your teaching style?
I enjoy making my classes student-centered, with a focus on hands-on learning, and I like the ideas behind “flipping the classroom” and the Harkness method [students taking responsibility for own education]. As a student, I hated dry lectures, so I assume my students do too. And, though I do use it often, I’m not a big fan of Power Point as a medium for delivering lectures.
In essence, how would you describe the university?
My impression is that HU is a smallish Christian college that emphasizes rigorous academic training and learning how to glorify God through your field of study, all in the context of a strong family environment.
What is your motivation behind teaching?
God has created a beautiful and complex world and has given us the ability to learn about it and use it in ways that bring him glory. I’m excited about teaching at a Christian institution because I can say something like I just did and not be ostracized for it.
Outside of your profession, what are some of your hobbies?
I love gardening, photography, canoeing, hiking and camping.
What impact do you hope to leave on the students?
I’m looking forward to getting involved in the HU community. I hope some of my students leave as excited about biology as I am.
Do you give students extra credit?
Extra credit? What’s that? Seriously, though, I do try to teach in such a way that extra credit strays a non-issue. After all, a 101 percent grade doesn’t make that much sense when you think about it.