1. What do you do in addition to teaching?
I am a second year Master’s student here at Clemson. Outside of my teaching responsibilities I am a full time student.
2. Why did you decide this career/position?
I enjoy being around young people and imparting the knowledge that I’ve gained through my life experiences. Additionally, I enjoy sharing the outdoors with new people and love giving novices the tools to effectively navigate outdoor recreation and protected areas.
3. What was your major in college?
I graduated from Clemson with a B.S. in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management.
4. What do you like best about your job?
I enjoy the interaction with the students. There is such a variety of backgrounds and personalities that each class is very different. The group dynamics are different with every class, so teaching is always a new and exciting challenge.
5. Did you always want to be in this career/position?
I wouldn’t say always, but since my junior year of college I think I’ve known I would pursue a career teaching or coaching.
6. Are you where you thought you would be when you were in college?
Absolutely not! If you had told me I’d be in Graduate school at this stage of my life, I would have laughed in your face.
7. How do you balance home and work, and teaching vs. researching?
Teaching kind of goes hand in hand with my home and work. There is a lot of overlap which makes balancing everything easier. The researching aspect of life is connected to teaching as I am studying youth workers and how professional development impacts their program facilitation, which quite often comes by way of teaching.
8. What general advice would you give college students?
Try new things every chance you get! Don’t be afraid to humble yourself and put yourself out there. The best learning experiences are those that make you uncomfortable initially. Don’t be afraid!
9. What are the most common mistakes that students make?
Not embracing who they are. It’s easy to withhold all of your personality or hide aspects of who you are out of fear from how it will be interpreted. Get over it and be who you are! If the people around you aren’t into it, you should be hanging out with other groups.
10. How do you define learning?
Committing to the unknown and humbling yourself. No one knows everything. The only way to learn and grow is understand your limitations and look for opportunities to expand your knowledge.
11. How do you define teaching?
Utilizing your life journey, hard skills, soft skills, and personality to impart the wisdom and information you’ve gathered to help others navigate life.
12. What subject was most difficult for you as a college student and why?
Either calculus or physics. Tough stuff.
13. What non-academic skill do you think is the most important for college students?
Confidence. Everyone has their own gifts and talents. If we all could understand that our journeys are unique, we could all be confident in what we’ve been given. Be confident!
14. What is the greatest non-academic skill that college students today lack?
Critical Thinking and probably confidence. Too many people either can’t or are afraid to think for themselves and think critically. Don’t stop at the surface, keep digging, keep searching.
15. How can college students develop this skill at Clemson University?
Be skeptical and put yourself out there. Challenge your original way of thinking about things and don’t be afraid to make confident decisions even if you aren’t 100% sure.
16. As a college student, what element of professionalism did you struggle with the most?
Probably with how formal everyone told me I had to be. I think being professional and being formal aren’t necessarily the same thing, a misconception of many. I like to enjoy myself and enjoy the people around me. I think some people are too uptight because they think they have to be or because they’ve been told they have to be.