Connecting with Students Outside the Classroom
Submitted on September 14, 2018
Faculty support for students at Georgetown College extends well beyond the classroom. In the evenings and on weekends, many faculty members take time to attend student extra-curricular activities. They are seen at performing arts events, art exhibits, chapel services, athletics, and intramurals - at any activity involving students, you are likely to see faculty.
Now, a “Faculty Fan Club” has been more formally organized to further demonstrate how faculty cares for and appreciates the student body. It’s the brainchild of Laura Hunt, Associate Professor of Spanish and Chair, Department of World Languages; Karyn McKenzie, Professor of Psychology; and Susan Dummer, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Communication and Media Studies.
Provost and Professor of English Dr. Rosemary Allen is a key supporter of the initiative and assisted with its launch.
“When Dr. McKenzie presented the idea, I immediately could envision how wonderful an opportunity this could be for both faculty and student-athletes,” said Dr. Allen. “For faculty, it not only gives us an opportunity to come out and support our students, but it also gives us an excuse to spend time together in an atmosphere that’s fun and exciting. And for student-athletes, it lets them see faculty in cool orange hats, yelling themselves hoarse in support of the team!”
The efforts put forth by students are truly appreciated and demonstrating support for their endeavors is important to faculty. “Many of our students spend so much time out of the classroom with our athletic teams, we want them to know that we love and support them in all they do,” said Dr. Hunt.
“It’s a way for faculty to spend time together informally and support our students,” explained Dr. Dummer. “We decided that we would select one home game per varsity team to attend each season, meeting an hour or so before the event to eat and enjoy fellowship.”
The “Faculty Fan Club” recently had an initial gathering cheering on the No. 18 GC volleyball team in its 3 straight sets win over Kentucky State University in the home season opener.
Student Allison Card attended the volleyball game with a group of friends and was thrilled. “We first noticed Dr. McKenzie walk in wearing an orange hat and just thought ‘Aw, how nice that she is coming to the game and with such great pride.’ Then, three or four more professors walked in wearing the same hat. Gradually, faculty and their families scattered across the stands and, too, there was President Greene," she said. “My friend, Avery Blackmon and I felt so encouraged and proud to go to a place with faculty and staff that would be this intentional about support. Overall it just created a sense of pride in Georgetown College.”
Faculty members attending with their families, in addition to the aforementioned, were Ellen Emerick, Associate Professor of History; Gui Silva, Associate Professor of Political Science; Jennifer Price, Professor of Psychology; Amanda Hughes, Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry; Sheila Klopfer, Professor and Chair, Department of Religion; Will Harris, Professor of Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science; Rick Kopp, Professor and Chair, Department of Biology; Jonathan Sands Wise, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Vice President for Enrollment Management; Daniel Graham, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Art; and Regan Lookadoo, Professor of psychology.
“I love watching our students do what they love,” commented Dr. Dummer. “And, I'm so thankful for these two amazing colleagues who had an idea and invited me to help them with it!”
As of this writing, the “Faculty Fan Club” plans to attend women’s soccer on Sept. 25, men’s soccer on Oct. 10, and the football game on Oct. 27 at Toyota Stadium when the GC Tigers host the rival Tigers of Campbellsville University.
“What could be a better way to spend an evening than with colleagues, supporting our amazing student-athletes?” said a thrilled Dr. McKenzie. “I can’t wait for our next event.”