First days of school and new students go hand in hand. Columbia College Student Affairs hosted a new student and faculty speed mingle event before classes began so students would get to know the faculty – which includes five new members highlighted below – who will lead their education for the coming years.
Kelley Frink, instructor of business for the Business Department, said she’s been pleasantly surprised at how involved Dr. Brouder and Dr. Smith have been. “My experience is that at larger institutions you very rarely see the dean or president of the college. I think it is really neat how well they know the faculty, staff and students.” Frink said she is looking forward to working with students as they progress through their academic career. “I’d love to serve as a mentor for those students who want to enter the accounting profession.”
Dr. Peter Monacell, assistant professor of English, in the Humanities Department, said he’s noticed that there seems to be something going on all the time. “My impressions are that so much is changing, whether it is in terms of campus improvements or e-resources or many other areas. Seeing all these changes happening gives me the sense that Columbia College is a really dynamic place,” he said. “The campus is striking, and everyone—and I mean everyone—has been super nice and accommodating,” said Monacell.
Dr. Aurelien Mauxion, visiting instructor of sociology within the Psychology and Sociology Department, said he appreciates the warmth and welcome he’s received as well. He also has high hopes for reaching his students. “I believe teaching in a small classroom environment, where I can know the students personally and help each of them reach their full potential, is a privilege for a professor,” said Mauxion. “I like the size of the college, and the proximity that I can develop not only with students, but also with faculty and staff.”
When Scott McMahon, assistant professor of art for the Art Department arrived on campus he saw first-hand how the faculty’s passion for teaching influences the students in a positive way. He’s ready to be part of that. “I'm excited about developing the photography program – no pun intended – and expanding course offerings. Ultimately, I'm looking forward to getting students excited about photography and expanding their appreciation and knowledge of the medium and art in general,” said McMahon.
Although Ken Akers, visiting instructor of business for the Business Department has been with the college for three years, he is currently transitioning from staff to faculty. Akers said that for him, it’s the people who make the campus so inviting. “I am continually impressed by the level of collegiality and support from the existing faculty. They have been open, warm and express great interest in our success as new faculty members,” he said. “This results in a learning environment that is unsurpassed by any other organization I have experienced.”
Even though they’re new to the school, it’s clear that these new faculty have already learned an important lesson; that the college culture here supports both its students and their teachers. And, according to Frink, there’s something more that sets Columbia College apart from other schools. “Two of the core values of this institution are civility and respect. That also says a lot about the faculty, staff and leadership here.”