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Andrew Pavelich takes teaching very seriously. This associate philosophy professor continually works to improve his craft and engage himself in the curriculum. His efforts recently earned him a nomination for the UHD Excellence in Teaching Award.
"I put a great deal of work into teaching and I know that being interested in the material you are teaching is really important. I want to be engaged with the ideas I'm talking about and I know that will come across to my students," he said. "Philosophy is really interesting and I try to introduce concepts and then get out of the way to let the students learn."
Pavelich earned his doctorate in philosophy from Tulane University and has been with UHD for 10 years. His research interests lie in early modern philosophy, especially Descartes, and the philosophy of religion, but he has taught a wide variety of philosophy courses at UHD and serves as the philosophy degree coordinator. His favorite courses include world religion and symbolic logic.
According to Pavelich, for only four weeks a year is he able to teach on the topic of his dissertation, but that's OK.
"In the last three years, I've taught 10 different courses," he said. "The UHD philosophy program is small, but we offer a variety of course options for our students and we are able, as faculty, to diversify our teaching interests - which makes it so interesting!"
He also thinks the students at UHD with their diverse backgrounds and life experiences are great. They inspire him to be the best teacher possible. "When I walk into a classroom at UHD, I know that some of my students are employed, have kids and outside responsibilities, while others are full-time students right out of high school. That mix creates an interesting vibe that I enjoy."
And he often encourages his students to find things they enjoy and simply, "do what you love."
"I changed majors a few times in college," he said. "But philosophy was my strongest subject. I was able to do what I enjoyed through college and turn it into a career. A large portion of my job is doing what I love and I tell my students to find that for themselves."
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Last updated or reviewed on 8/24/13