Thanks, Faculty: Students Say Instructors Made Tough Subjects Understandable
Leila Pinchot, a doctoral student in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, knows firsthand how difficult understanding statistics can be for non-statistics majors. But, thanks to Professor Arnold Saxton, Pinchot has actually learned to enjoy statistics.
Saxton teaches statistics in the Department of Animal Science and is a member of the Intercollegiate Graduate Statistics Program.
“Dr. Saxton breaks statistics down by giving practical examples and avoiding the usual abstract theoretical examples used in all other stats courses I’ve taken,” Pinchot said. “I understand how and why, on a very practical level, to use it. While this may seem simple, none of the three other statistics courses I have taken have been able to successfully convey this.”
“As a Spanish major in undergrad, there was one teacher who had the most significant impact on my life,” she said. “Her name is Laura Trujillo.
“When I went into her intermediate grammar class on the first day, I was terrified. She was strict, and she was going to make us work,” Svoboda recalled.
“It was one of the most difficult classes I ever took, but I learned more than I ever had. Laura pushed all of us to get out of our comfort zones, and she was there for each and every one of her students as we struggled.
“As a future teacher myself, I understand and fully appreciate her hard work and dedication to her students.”
May Lamsen spent six years working in the food manufacturing industry before deciding to return to school. Now a second-year graduate, one faculty member stands out to her among the rest: Professor Federico Harte, an assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology.
“Upon starting graduate school, I was always very self conscious about asking the professor questions for fear of being looked at as dumb,” Lamsen said.
She remembers being really upset during one class because she didn’t understand how to do a problem.
“He kept motivating me,” Lamsen said. “He never makes a student feel dumb, and gives his time to truly help a student. What is great is that he believes in any student’s capability to better themselves. I can tell that he really likes to teach, and I wish that more professors could have that kind of approachable nature.”
In honor of Faculty Appreciation Week, Tennessee Today will feature stories and videos based on comments about great faculty members submitted by students, alumni and others.
You can send a shout out to your favorite faculty member or read what others have written.
Also this week, area merchants will offer a variety of discounts for UT faculty.