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Meet Our 2015 Faculty Rockstars

Meet Our 2015 Faculty Rockstars

Officially, their job title is simply stated as professor. It lets a student generally know who will be teaching their class at the University of San Diego.

But much like one shouldn’t judge a book solely by its cover, neither should a prospective or current student assume that a USD professor’s major task in the classroom is limited to giving tests, assigning papers, readings and lecturing about the subject matter.

Most often, a USD faculty member not only knows your name, but he or she will expect you to regularly pop in during office hours, provide a pathway to what your major should be, alert you to a research lab opportunity or program, send you and your classmates out for hands-on, experiential learning in the local community — maybe beyond San Diego — and will not only expect you to participate in a deeply interesting classroom discussion, but in some ways, lead it.

Professors at USD are often on committees: they are your preceptors, Changemaker Hub leaders, Living-Learning Community visionaries, club advisors, and mentors in the Summer Bridge program as they teach you how to prepare for USD’s academic rigor. Sometimes, they are your co-author on published research, or they are the one who has submitted a research grant application to create the opportunity for you in the first place. They are the teacher of a study abroad course in one of several different countries, or they might be sitting next to you in Founders Chapel or in the Jenny Craig Pavilion stands rooting for the Toreros or supporting you as a student athlete.

When most talk about the advantages of attending USD, a Roman Catholic institution, there’s certainly the impact of obtaining a values-based, liberal-arts education, small class sizes and a wealth of resources to develop the whole student.

But it really isn’t a surprise when one of the first recollections of a current or a graduating student’s college experience at the University of San Diego is sincere acknowledgment of the mentoring, advising, time, dedication and care exerted by a faculty member.

Said David Peters, a 2014 USD alumnus in chemistry, upon hearing that his Chemistry Professor, Mitchell Malachowski, was named the 2014 California Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education: “I am excited for anyone else who gets to spend time in his lab in their time at USD because I know they will learn about chemistry, will learn about themselves, and will love working with him.”

— Ryan T. Blystone

Meet some of our faculty rock stars in USD Magazine's Spring 2015 and Summer 2015 issues

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