Graduating seniors reflect on their faculty mentors
Thursday, May 14, 2015

“The main three reasons I got into teaching are June, July, and August,” says Mitchell Kelly, clinical associate professor of educational psychology, breaking into laughter. It is no surprise a student of his, Emily Kelly, says, “One of the things that definitely got me excited to go to Dr. Kelly’s class is his sense of humor. It’s incorporated into every possible minute of class that he can, and it just keeps students engaged.”

Jokes aside, UI professors teach for reasons far beyond June, July, and August, and students can tell. Dora Grote, a journalism and mass communication major, says that she would describe her professor, Meenakshi Gigi Durham as “dedicated to her students.” Grote also says, “I’m just shocked by how much I have changed in the past four years, and I do owe some of that to Professor Durham.” To this, Durham responded, "Teaching students like Dora is what makes teaching so rewarding, worthwhile, and energizing."

Graduation can be hard when students and faculty have worked together for so long. Professor Molly Nikolas says of Noreen Jeglum, who has worked in her research lab for four years, “I’m going to miss her. I’m happy that they’re all moving on, but it’s hard to see them go.”