This year, my favorite professor has been Rosina Hassoun from the sociology department. I had her my freshman year for introduction to anthropology and decided to take her again for sociology statistics because I liked her class and teaching style so much. I am not a math person and was nervous about taking math at the college level, but Hassoun went above and beyond to make sure I succeeded.
She hosted study groups called “pizza and problems” before each exam, where she would buy pizza and help us with problems from the study guide.
She also welcomed me to her office hours even after I finished her class for guidance. Even when I talked to her about changing my major from sociology to creative writing, she offered as much help as she could to make sure I would do well.
I would recommend her classes to anyone because she goes above and beyond to make sure her students succeed.
This semester, and many others, one of my favorite professors has been Dan Gates. I have taken Gates many times now, and each time has been a wonderful experience.
Now, Gates’ specialty is early modern literature, like William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson. Early modern literature is probably one of my least favorite areas of literature to explore. However, knowing that Gates is the instructor has definitely made the literature period more enjoyable.
Gates recognizes the pressures that his students are under (probably because he is even more stressed out than we are with life). He has pushed back deadlines and tweaked rubrics just to appease his overly stressed students. And although it probably makes his job harder, he does it to alleviate some of the anxiety his students feel. His compassion is one of the most admirable things that an instructor can have and one of the main reasons that he is well liked by many others.
David Rzeszutek is one professor I will never forget. I currently have him for the theatre course Shakespeare in Performance. A scene we did from “Two Gentlemen of Verona” pushed us to find comedic bits and commit to bold choices. Rzeszutek workshops the scenes and helps to improve and challenge the students. I feel that I have personally grown in this class. Not only was the content difficult, but he pushed me to keep getting better.
If you put in the effort, he will work with you to build upon your choices. He is also willing to meet with you during office hours if you are struggling with something. I got the chance to borrow his DVD collection of “The Hollow Crown” series done by PBS when we were working on “Henry IV Part 1” so that I could watch a professional version of the play to draw inspiration from. He has a wealth of knowledge and resources that he is willing to share, and it is obvious that he truly cares about his students.
Over the last few years here, I’ve made it a point to have a class with C. Vincent Samarco because he is one of the greatest professors in the universe. Samarco’s style of teaching is laid-back yet consistently on point.
The way he conducts his creative writing workshops is remarkably efficient and incredibly effective. He’s also warm and affable and always willing to talk with students during office hours. He cares about the well-being and success of his students, and it shows in the way he interacts with them. In short, Samarco is really great at what he does.
Samarco is one of those “Dead Poets Society” kind of professors. I mean, he’s never personally told me to “seize the day,” but that thought is present in the subtext of the advice he’s given me. He’s not only made me a better fiction writer, but also a better person. It’s been a real privilege to take his classes.
And, in case you were wondering, yes, the “C” does stand for Cool.