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Alumni Posts

Fontbonne Professors

by Alumni Posts on March 3, 2010

in Uncategorized

When I decided to come to Fontbonne, one of the huge appeals to me was the lack of TA’s—teaching assistants, for anyone unfamiliar with the term. Fontbonne has none. Zero. What this means is that you get more direct interaction with your actual teacher, which ensures that you receive the actual education you’re paying for rather than getting a poor substitution. You never have to deal with a TA in a class of 150 students, because there are never classes with that many students in the first place! I really enjoy that my professor knows my name and can help me out with what I need to work on for each class. When you get to interact with all of your professors, you come to realize that these professors are ABSOLUTELY AWESOME. I mean… when it comes to picking a favorite, where could I even begin?

There are so many professors who are so good at what they do. Let’s start with Stopke. “STOP-key,” if you’ve never heard it said aloud before. He’s in the Religion department. I took his course for World Religions during the Spring semester of last year, and I absolutely loved that class. To begin with, Stopke really knows his stuff, and he knows how to teach it. On the first day of class, he closed the door and said, “Let’s make a deal: what goes on in this classroom stays in this classroom and never leaves that door.” His point was that World Religions can be a sensitive topic for a lot of people, and so he wanted to encourage open, honest discussions and debates. As a result, we—the class—received an enriching, fascinating, and entertaining education about the various religions of the world. I enjoyed that class so much that I’ve considered auditing it again, just to sit through it. It was that good!

On a different take of “good” professors, there’s Gilleo. “GIL-ee-oh.” Gilleo teaches various Ethics-related courses, including Environmental Ethics, Business Ethics, and—what I took with her—Contemporary Moral Issue. I also really enjoyed this class, simply because her style of teaching placed a kind of demand on me where I was encouraged to grow as an individual and to better my own sense of ethics. Gilleo’s class didn’t have the humor that Stopke’s class did, but it certainly included that same enriching factor.

But if I have to pick a favorite, I’d definitely go for Dr. Suzanne Stoelting of the sociology department. Now, I might be biased; not only is she one of my two advisors, ever since I picked up the applied sociology major, but I’m also working on my fourth class with her this semester. Where do I begin with Stoelting? She’s the best of both worlds that I described earlier. She includes the depth of knowledge and the frank humor that Stopke had, yet simultaneously includes the encouragement for personal growth. Her lectures are entertaining and informative, and her lessons are useful and motivating. I mean, there’s a good reason for me taking so many classes with her! I think she has made—and will continue to make—the biggest impact on my academic experience here at Fontbonne.

There are so many other incredible professors at Fontbonne still, of course: Dr. Stephanie Afful, Don Shifter, Greg Ott, Vincent Willoughby, Kay Graves, and the list goes on. You get to know all of them, without ever having to put up with TA’s. I think that makes a huge difference!

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.