Perhaps my favorite part of teaching at Albion is the chance to learn about so many different fields of study. For example, one of my senior thesis students is examining personality differences in investment choices. In fact, representatives from a major mutual fund family are really interested in what he is doing! I know, I know, that sounds like economics, not psychology. Well, I am not sure where the dividing line is between psychology and other areas—or that we should even worry about arbitrary dividing lines in the first place. This year, I am supervising three seniors on their thesis research projects, and am working with other students in religious studies, physical education, and economics on their research as well. I find I am always learning—right along with my students.
I was drawn to sociology in college out of a sense of moral outrage at the racial injustices and turmoil that plagued American society at that time. Sociologists seemed to have the best analysis of those conflicts and at least some of the solutions.
As a professor at Albion College for the last thirty years, I have shared my passion for racial and ethnic justice with students, and encouraged them to explore this issue in their own lives. I am extremely gratified when they tell me that their perspectives on the social world have expanded or deepened as a result of our conversations, and when I see this manifested in the quality of their scholarship. I take heart in the realization that these students will be our future leaders.
Deondra Jacobs, '10
Helping teens realize their potential
Majors: Ethnic Studies, Psychology
Resident Assistant, African-Caribbean Student Union, United Voices of Albion College
I have always worked with youth in my community, and in Albion I am currently supervising an after-school program and tutoring with a center that assists emotionally, socially, and academically challenged adolescents. It is my passion and joy to help young adults discover their purpose and worth, and to see them succeed beyond their wildest dreams.
Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development
Does part of your love of learning come from joy in the prospect of sharing your knowledge with others? Do you long to influence the learning and personal development of children? The Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development will prepare you with the tools for effective teaching: depth in your major, breadth in the liberal arts, practical classroom skills, understanding of the issues affecting education, and the ethics of civic responsibility and affirming diversity.
Through internships, research, and travel, you'll study the most successful teaching practices as well as learn to develop and test new ideas yourself, including the thoughtful use of educational technology. In tandem with the College's Education Department, the Institute administers the elementary, secondary, and K-12 teacher certification programs, and has developed highly innovative field experiences for prospective teachers in the local schools. Roundtable discussions, visiting lecturers, alumni teachers-in-residence, and summer programs will round out your preparation to serve as a role model of outstanding classroom teaching and an intentional agent of change.
Learn more about the Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development.