Outcome 5: Professor Interview Interview with Dr. Heather Batt

Dr. Heather Batt

Question: Just to get a little background information on you. Where did you attend college and what was your major?

Question: What non-academic skill do you think is most important for students to have?

Question: Is being a professor where you saw yourself when you were in college?

Question: What character strength helped you the most over your time in undergrad/grad?

Question: What did you do before becoming a professor? How does it compare?

Question: What surprised you most about being a professor?

Question: What are some of your proudest professional achievements?

Question: What would your ideal job be if you had no responsibility and no education?

Thank you so much for your time! You were such a great help!

Dr. Batt was a difficult woman to pin down for an interview. As a mother of two and a professor she stays very busy, but I was able to stick it out and get the interview I wanted. I chose to interview Dr. Batt for several reasons, the main one being that I enjoy her as a person and she teaches with great enthusiasm and uses great inflection as well as anecdotes when she teaches: thus being a perfect person to interview. I also knew, from in-class anecdotes, that she has a pretty interesting past and that her road to her doctorate didn't follow a linear progression but instead she was inspired to her position along the way. My final reason was that I am in her class for the second time and a little flattery can take you a long way (promise this was a much lesser reason). As I expected the interview went really well and Dr. Batt was able to answer my questions very concisely, but with enough detail that I was able to gain much better insight both into her life and her way of thinking. I was very impressed with her answers; as I had briefly gleaned in class, she has a really interesting life and an even better heart. One thing I was really impressed with were her excursions before getting her PhD: She spend a few years as a river rafting guide in Colorado as well as being involved with the Peace Corps in Africa. Another thing that stuck with me was her answer to the question 'What non-academic skill do you think is most important for students to have?'; her opinion was that face-to-face communication was almost a lost art in todays college with the proliferation of texting and emails and that students should work on it as it is a valuable skill both while in school and every other aspect of your life. A fun-fact about Dr. Batt is that she has been nominated for teacher of the year at Clemson for 7 out of her 15 years here but, that more important than that is any time she's able to inspire a student to pursue food packaging. In summary, I had a great time with the interview and feel that both with the interview experience and the time after the interview when the two of us talked off the record that I both know Dr. Batt better and am more appreciative of professors and their desire to inspire and teach students.

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