What do you teach for Delta College?
Integrative Learning Seminar II, Human Heritage Experience
I and II, Society and Culture I and II
How long have you been with Delta/SUNY Brockport?
Since Spring 1998 with Delta and SUNY Brockport since 1996.
What is one of your favorite Delta Moments?
This is really difficult because there are several that are virtually
impossible to choose between. I'll restrict myself to the top three
(order does not indicate preference):
- In my first ever Society and Culture class in Delta, I had given
students a writing assignment that required them to analyze one of Christopher
Columbus's original log entries from his first trip to the America's.
(Everyone will recall that Columbus stumbled upon the New World while
attempting to find a shorter route to the Far East.) A young woman in
the class named Jamie Austin handed in a short essay entitled "Just
Like a Man Not to Ask Directions". I knew I was in for a treat.
- Watching Jeremy Hilinski perform his King Tut routine in the Delta
second-year's play. Jeremy, certainly one of the most gifted performers
that will ever pass through Delta, was dressed in a toga and sang a
satirical song that spoofed the Delta program. Jeremy helped us learn
to enjoy a self-depreciating joke in Delta.
- Reading Laura Reed's critique of Jared Diamond's "Guns,
Germs, and Steel." There is no greater joy for a professor
than reading a paper that demonstrates that a student got everything
you wanted her to get from your class, and then added something
significant of her own. Laura went on to do a year at Oxford.
I'm very proud of you Laura.
Why does every Delta teacher say "Trust Us"?
When Dante stands at the gates of Hell he falters before entering.
Virgil must reassure him that heavenly powers are deeply concerned
for his well-being. Delta College can, occasionally, bear a striking
resemblance to Dante's journey. We will drag, push, and pull you
to intellectual and cultural exercises you never dreamed you would
experience. Trust us, we have guided many students across the river
Styx, and throughout the entire experience there will be many powers
deeply concerned for your well-being.
How do Deltas differ from non-Deltas?
Initially, I'm not certain there is a great deal of difference.
Most students enter college with at least some measure of apprehension.
Delta students tend to gain a sense of self-confidence quicker than
non-Deltas. The requirements of Delta are very demanding but like
any experience that requires you to test your limits you will be
for having taken the test.
Why did you choose to work for Delta?
One of my very favorite colleagues, Dr. Raymond Duncan, came to
me four years ago and suggested that I should meet with the director
of Delta College, Sandra Holinbaugh, to discuss a joint appointment
between Political Science and Delta College. I didn't know much
about Delta at the time but the fact that Ray Duncan thought this
would be a great idea was good enough for me (sometimes we all have
to rely on someone who says "Trust me"). I met with Sandra
and we just clicked from day one. Life has taught me that if you
don't like the people you work with you'll never enjoy your work.
This would be especially true in Delta because we tend to collaborate
more as faculty than most departments/programs. In Delta, I have
had the pleasure of working with people like Professors Wanda Wakefield,
Kitty Hubbard, Tim Thornton, professionals from the business world
like Jim Georger and, of course Sandra, who is the hub around which
all of us revolve. These are the kind of colleagues that every professor
should have! I also get to do things that I cannot do in Political
Science, like teach the politics of literature. I firmly believe
that Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare have as much to teach us about
politics as any modern scholar. Delta provides me a unique opportunity
to introduce students to those lessons.