The Alumni Association is honoring 21 NC State professors with the 2013 Faculty Awards for their outstanding work in the classroom, in the laboratory and in the field. We talked (via email) with some of the recipients about their work and the keys to being a successful professor.
Today we’re visiting with Dr. Sam Jones, a professor of equine medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Jones is one of two professors being recognized as Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Professors.
What prompted you to become a professor? I realized that I enjoyed teaching while I was an intern and then decided to make teaching part of my career when I was a resident — I particularly like one-on-one teaching like we do in the teaching hospital with veterinary students and in the lab with graduate students. I enjoy the discussion, free flow of ideas and information, and the impact of learning in this active environment. I also learn as much or more from the veterinary students and graduate students during these discussions.
What are the keys to being a successful teacher/professor? The key is to know your subject (of course!) and care about what you are teaching and your students. Passion is a great motivator, and when a teacher is passionate about the subject, students are inspired, more engaged, and learn more. Humor helps!
What gives you the greatest satisfaction as a professor? My greatest joy is seeing students I teach in the hospital and in the lab develop and become successful scientists and clinicians. The students I teach in the hospital and in the lab are my professional children and I get tremendous satisfaction when then do well. I always say that I can have the greatest impact on my profession and science by helping train outstanding clinician scientists who rise to the challenges of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences.