How long have you been teaching at Tech?
Since 2005. So, thirteen years.
Why did you choose Tech?
I grew up in Arkadelphia. I was asked, particularly by my mother. She said, “hey, why don’t you get a job here?” and so I did.
What lead you to teaching?
Well, they hired me. I was always interested in statistics and research, those kinds of things. I was ready made to be a professor. So, that’s kind of how that played out.
What are your base classes you teach every year, if you have them?
I teach statistics, sociological theory. I teach some topical courses like drugs and society. Those types of things.
What lead you to choose your field of study?
It just seemed to fit. It was one of those things where I got in, started taking classes, and ended up really liking it. That was the general gist of it.
What is your most embarrassing teaching story?
I don’t know if I really have any. I’m not saying that to be flip. I just can’t think of anything I’ve done that would be horribly embarrassing from my perspective. I just throw it all out there. No shame. I can’t think of anything particularly embarrassing for me but I’m sure there’s plenty of things embarrassing for the students.
What is your biggest pet peeve in the classroom?
Cellphones. You do not need to have a cell phone in class. There is no reason for it to be in class. Another is if you don’t come prepared to learn, you’re wasting my time and you’re wasting yours. I firmly believe that. I will quite frequently point out that if you’re here and you’re going to fall asleep or you’re going to goof around, you just need to leave. We’re here to learn. If you’re not here to learn, you should probably leave class.
Did you consider yourself a good student in college?
I eventually became a good student. I wasn’t a great student for a long time. I was just sort of there. Not drifting, per say, I was always a good student. I was just doing it because you had to.
Who inspires you the most?
I mean, I have people that I am fans of that were also professors. I like it when people are straightforward, honest, not duplicitous. They’re just dedicated to getting the job done. I like it when people are here to work and then they work.
Who’s your favorite author?
Depends. I like Howard Zinn a lot. I also like Neil Gaiman. Zinn was a historian and activist who was very central to the US peace movement and the Civil Rights Movements. He was a white guy who taught at historically black colleges who were into empowering people. He wrote “A People’s History of the United States” and other things.
Are you a dog or a cat person or a no pet person? Why?
I have two cats and a dog so I am all of the above.