by Toshimasa Hatori, sophomore of International Business Studies , Student Government vice president, and captain of Basketball Club at TUJ.
The Real Life of a Professor” featured Professor B.Anthony (Tony) Bedard, TUJ’s back-to-back Teacher of the Year, speaking about his past, present, and future experience outside his career as a university professor. This event provided an opportunity to students to learn and grow by engaging in a non-academic discussion with faculty and staff. The event was organized by William J. Swinton, director of International Business Studies, and me.
“A good idea.” Bedard said of the event. “It allows students to better understand that professors are actually human!” Professor Bedard shared words of wisdom on everything from happiness to living successfully in Japan.
There were close to 70 participants, including students, alumni, staff, and faculty across many departments as well as from different programs such as the Undergraduate Program, the Bridge Program, and the Continuing Education Program. Due to COVID-19, the event took place both online and on campus.
Learning outside of class
Mirei Fujino, a third-year International Business Studies student, joined as a panelist. “It was inspiring to hear stories about professors that are outside academic topics. Having the open-ended discussion to exchange the ideas and hearing what others think also made me re-think about my values more than ever.”
“Listening to Anthony and questions and the discussion about his life was truly a great opportunity to think about why and how to live.” Yumi Shiina, a student of Bedard’s from the Continuing Education Program in 2013 said. “I enjoyed this lively session even remotely with my baby boy.”
TUJ Dean Matt Wilson said, “The Real Life of a Professor event was exceptional as it attracted students, professors, and staff into an informal and comfortable environment that celebrated learning.” He showed great energy when interacting with students during the event.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs George Miller, said, “Education starts in the classroom. That’s where you meet professors and classmates and you initiate the process. Faculty are mentors beyond the classroom, and beyond the semesters when we share classes. Even long after students graduate. The education, the mentorship, continues for life.”
Many participants are interested in the next event in the series. I also believe these events should continue because the chance for us students to interact with professors outside class is rare. Such an event makes bonds closer. This helps us respect and trust our professors as someone more than a scholar. It also improves the quality of our learning quality and the environment more.