Community of Scholars

Community of Scholars


There are so many faculty that I forged really, really strong connections with during my time at Oxy. It goes beyond the experiences in the classroom. Professors involve their students in their research, professors involve their students in their writing. They’re right there next to you, they’re someone who you’re joking with, sharing personal stories with. They become like a friend. What I tell all my students is that you’re never going to be a number at Oxy. We know who you are. We learn who you are. We try to understand your motivations and your aspirations. I find teaching far more rewarding when I feel like I’ve got a sense of who the human being is that’s in my class. I get bored listening to myself. And I think that if I’m bored listening to myself, then surely the students are bored. And so, I tend to structure the actual classroom around questions. We as faculty really take our students seriously as thinkers. When you engage them on that level, when you recognize them as intellectual equals, that’s very exciting for them. The Oxy student-professor interaction is something I’ve never experienced before. They are challenging me. They are humbling me. They take my research in directions I would not have predicted. The liberal arts context, the small class size, I think, invites that kind of deeper, more meaningful, teaching experience. I like teaching at Oxy because I feel like I’m part of a bigger team that’s trying to help young people get somewhere worth going. We as faculty care deeply about the transformative power of a liberal arts education, and see a tremendous opportunity to create new generations of scholars, and to shape their lives in important, meaningful, ethical, intellectual ways.

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