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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

A Glimpse into the Lives of Faculty

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Wofford’s Faculty Talk Series

To many students, the life of a college or university professor may come across as a very simple one. They just show up to campus, teach their courses, have a few office hours along the way and then go home, right? Well, not quite. For many professors, the end of academic hours is just the beginning of the other phase of their occupation: independent research. 

The research that our very own Wofford professors do outside of class may seem like both a puzzling and interesting subject, a reaction which the Faculty Talk series, run by Dr. Nancy Williams of the Philosophy department, seeks to shed light on. The series has included a wealth of Wofford faculty, most recently adding Dr. Phil Dorroll of the Religion department to the list.

“It’s an organized way for faculty to present what they’re working on to other faculty,” says Dorroll. “As someone who’s hearing them, it’s nice to have a window into some other faculty members’ worlds because we talk all the time, but it’s difficult to get a sense of what their life is like in their field of study.”

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Despite what the name may suggest, students are more than welcome to go to see members of Wofford faculty discuss their research projects, and Dr. Dorroll believes there is much to be gained for students as spectators and even for himself having been a presenter.

Dorroll: “If students go to these, you’re seeing the faculty at their most honest. You’re seeing them talk about their field of study the way that they would naturally to their colleagues. You would see a side of faculty that you wouldn’t see anywhere else because they’re in that space [and] they’re talking about their job in a very straightforward way. … When you have to present something, you’re forced to organize it in a way that is communicable to other people, and so it helps you organize your thoughts, it helps you organize what you want to say so that your own thoughts and ideas improve as you’re trying to figure out a way to present them to other people.”

On a day to day basis, the things that students are learning in class are only the tip of the iceberg compared to the things that Wofford faculty members are looking into on their own time. Any students interested in attending a Faculty Talk are more than welcome and should be sure to keep their eyes on the Daily Announcements to be informed about the next one.

Caption: Dr. Phil Dorroll teaching during his Introduction to Islam course.

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