The Overlooked Resource

It is not uncommon at EMU to go to a professor’s office to ask a question about a paper, and end up talking for an hour.

It is not rare to have a final exam that takes the form of a potluck breakfast at a professor’s house.

Occasionally you might forget the last name of your professor because you’re so used to calling them by their first names.

The members of EMU’s faculty invest heavily in their students and contain depths of knowledge beyond what they share in the classroom.

If I could repeat these four yeas, one of the things that I would do differently would be to realize sooner what a valuable resource professors are.

At EMU, we practice something I have heard Chad Gusler, a Language and Literature Professor, call “radical egalitarianism” between faculty and students.

Though the power dynamics and professional distance still exist to an extent, many professors try to decrease the distance between themselves and students by going by their first names and taking an interest in their student’s non-academic development by being willing to speak into students’ social, emotional, and spiritual lives.

I know that I have been deeply touched by the professors that have spoken into my life over the course of my time at EMU, and who have imparted so much wisdom about not only working in my future field, but about life in general.

The low student-to-faculty ratio is one of the most valuable assets of being a small school because it gives students easier access to faculty.

Collaboration is also easier, and many students receive the valuable opportunity to work on major projects with close mentorship and guidance from professors who are experts in their fields.

And while students benefit from EMU’s mandatory cross-cultural program on an individual level, they receive a global perspective within the classroom.

Many of EMU’s professors have spent time overseas in service, gaining experience that they translate into their classrooms and also use to meet the needs of international students.

EMU’s peace and sustainability focus brings in many dynamic professors who have lived intriguing, adventurous lives and who are not only willing, but excited, to pass on their knowledge and passions to their students.

-Maria Driediger, Contributing Writer

Categories: Opinion


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