HomeStudent LifeHow Well Do You Know Your Professor?

How Well Do You Know Your Professor?


Students will never be able to guess which faculty members have unique interests or amazing achievements outside of the classroom.

“Something off-the-cuff students may be surprised to know about me is I’ve had a black belt in karate since 1979, which I earned in Greenville, Texas. Also, I used to teach karate,” Tom Hooten, professor of physics and director of the Center for Earth and Space Science Education planetarium said.

Believe it or not, professors do have a life outside of teaching, and it might surprise students what hobbies their very own professor may have. These professors are not letting their teaching career define them.

“I worked professionally as a lighting designer for the theatre at major theatres in NYC, Philadelphia, Houston and Chicago,” Jacob Davis, a theatre professor at TJC said.


“I grew up in a small town in the panhandle on the New Mexico/Texas border. The population was less than 50 people, school was 30 miles away, we had to travel 40 minutes to even get the simplest grocery items like milk. I have enjoyed the fact that I was a country boy from a town in the middle of nowhere that was able to work at some of the most prestigious theatres in America.”

According to a 2009 article on CNN, college professors are ranked as No. 3 in the top 50 best jobs in America. Between teaching and grading papers, it’s quite impressive the amount of achievements and hobbies professors have acquired outside of campus.

“Something students may find surprising about me is that I’ve backpacked across the United States, and I lived and worked in New Zealand,” Jim Farley, professor of vocational nursing said.

Students can learn more from their professor than just the subject they teach. If you’re not in a hurry to make it to another class, those few minutes after the lecture is over is a great time to introduce yourself to your professor or chat with him or her briefly.

e7b0a7f6-c72f-4226-ba7c-f541cce5eef2“I was actually about to leave for school in South Dakota at Hot Rod Institute to build hot rods, classic cars and motorcycles when I got the job offer here at TJC,” Ryan Harrigan, head cheerleading coach at TJC said. “I have met the last 4 presidents all because of cheerleading, as well as 3 of the last 4 Secretaries of State, multiple Joint Chiefs, and Secretaries of the Navy, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and 2 Medal of Honor Recipients.”

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