Students are lucky if they can get one truly influential professor in their lives. I’ve had countless. I hold close to my heart the professors who taught me way more than the subject at hand. I remember so vividly those moments when I knew my life was forever changed by what I had learned: when Jeff Baker talked about slippery slopes and I knew I would never again construct flawed arguments, when Gary Ogden talked about evolution and it resonated to the core of my being, when Ranford Hopkins made me realize that the first action against racism is to acknowledge it still exists.
What do these professors have in common? They were all community college professors. While I’ve had many very smart professors in my undergraduate and graduate programs at well-reputed universities, I’ve actually had more great professors in two years of community college than in the rest of my academic career combined. Community college professors are some of the most caring, passionate, and inspired bunch I’ve had the chance to meet and I am forever grateful my path led me through community college rather than a “better” big name school.
[Read the rest of Ariane Coffin’s post about NASA’s community college initiative at GeekMom!]