Professor of Anatomy and Physiology
Professor of Biology
Looking back, what originally got you into the health sciences? What sparked your interest?
Well, I’ve always had a love for biology. I originally wanted to be a doctor, a medical doctor, but when I was doing my graduate work, I had the opportunity to be a graduate assistant, which basically means that you help out a professor by supervising a lab. I enjoyed relaying the information that I knew to the students and seeing them progress in their work; I had discovered my passion for teaching, I knew that was what I really loved to do. That’s what started it all.
On ratemyprofessor.com, everyone seems to say you’re ‘the best professor’ they ever had. What do you think you do that’s different than the other professors?
Well, I don’t know if it’s necessarily different. The professors at SCCC share the philosophy that the students come first, and I think the students pick up on that when they see a professor who is accessible and willing to help. Anatomy is tough subject, a very tough subject; even if you love biology or you have taken biology classes in the past, it takes a certain level of dedication, but it also takes a professor who is always there for the student. They realize the subject matter is difficult, but they also realize that I am there for them, and I think that’s what they’re drawn to.
Do you have any advice for someone trying to pass Anatomy?
Study, study, study! Really, all joking aside, studying is very important. We’re talking about two hours a night: opening the books, no TV, no music. Sitting there and focusing on the subject matter really does make a difference. There are also a number of resources that are available for the students to utilize; I have a website where I post notes and I record podcasts of my lectures, because sometimes it’s good to hear the lectures over and over again. You have to be dedicated enough to say, “I will put aside hanging out with my friends tonight.” It’s all about truly committing yourself to your goal to do well in the course.
Can you tell us more about the podcast you do? That’s a new concept to SCCC.
It’s wonderful. All my students who listen to it say, “Oh my gosh, this helps so much,” they actually see an improvement in their grade. Students will sit in class and listen to me, but sometimes their minds will wander or they may simply miss something, so I record my lectures and podcast them. We post it on the SCCC website and the students have the option to download it, so they can hear the entire lecture over and over again. Repetition really does help with anatomy, biology in general. The more you hear something, the more likely you’ll remember it.
We actually had students from South America download the podcast and send a note saying “It really helped me understand muscle physiology.” Which personally, couldn’t be a better compliment.