Introduction to the Humanities
Before becoming a full-time faculty member at Collin College in 2006, I was an associate faculty member (meaning, part-time) at the college for about ten years. About half of that time was spent teaching classroom courses and about half was spent teaching online courses. Since switching to full-time, I've continued to teach both online and in the classroom, enjoying both environments for their contrasting advantages.
In addition to Collin College, I've taught at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), the Art Institute of Dallas, ITT Technical Institute, and Florida Community College at Jacksonville. The courses that I taught at those institutions included rhetoric and composition, advanced composition, literary analysis, humanities, written communications, and an introduction to computers. (I also occasionally served as primary technical support for a networked writing lab at UTD.)
My graduate education includes a Master of Arts in Humanities (from UTD), with an emphasis in the History of Ideas. My studies at UTD (which also included a number of courses in the doctoral program) encompassed history, philosophy, rhetoric, literature, and the arts. Oddly enough, my undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Louisiana Tech University, and I also spent a year studying in the graduate program in computer science at the same university.
My non-academic professional experience also traverses a wide spectrum. In between my sojourns in academia, I spent three years as a computer software analyst, two years as a technical writer in the computer industry, and four years as a copy editor and supervisor of copy editors for a large marketing services agency. Most recently (before becoming a full-time instructor at Collin), I worked for two years as a research associate at a research center for studies in literary translation at UTD.
You'll find that most of the experiences described above will influence my design of the Humanities 1301 course. For instance, current topics of discussion in the course can revolve around: story, myth, and the enduring appeal of mythic characters in the human world; the challenging issues that surround the problems of knowledge and truth in the contemporary world; the various approaches that artists take to representing the world in their art, both in the literary and visual arts; and the transformative effects of current-day electronic communication media upon our culture and those of us who participate in it. The topics of these discussions and other assignments evolve and change over time, but they'll usually grow out of one or more of my professional and scholarly interests.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably admit that I'm not a native Texan. I've lived in the Dallas area since 1988, but I grew up in south Louisiana. I'm a Cajun by birth, a Dallas resident by chance and circumstance, a scholar by necessity, and a teacher by choice. Other than that, like many people I like good music, good food, good movies, and good books (although you and I might disagree about what "good" means in each of these).