The Communications department is a robust group of professors that all have the goal of helping students grow in
their studies and their faith. In everything from digital ethics to the Love Your Neighbor Initiative (the current website you’re on), the Communications department is working to give students experiences beyond the classroom, and invite them into the world of opportunities around us.
Interview with Priscilla Koeckeritz
Interview with Jonathan Heide
Interview with Priscilla Koeckeritz
Passionate, learning, and excellence. These are three words that Professor Priscilla Koeckeritz uses to describe her teaching. Throughout the interview with professor Koeckeritz, you can hear these words reflected. Even though, she has only taught at North Central for one year, you can hear the enthusiasm of her desire to see students grow and learn and for the excitement of the Love Your Neighbor initiative. Here are a few highlights of that interview that show her excitement for North Central, teaching, and for students:
Q: Why do you teach at North Central University? What is your mission here?
I got connected with a few professors and saw the passion they had. I want to make a difference. The mission is to change how classrooms work to move away from a traditional way of learning. I want the learning to be more experiential in learning and put it into practice.
Q: How do you believe our Christian community at North Central strives to invest in the community, bring together diverse ideas or develop projects?
A: I didn’t know that people were working with the homeless, interpreting with sign language, working with the Walker Art museum and working on digital culture. I didn’t know about the conversations about social justice. I am excited about the idea that students are able to step out of their comfort zones to have impact on the world.
Q: What is the value of bringing real world experiences into the classroom?
In advertising class, I can teach the outline of a creative brief or I can have the students write a creative brief. I can turn what is in a text or syllabus in what you can do instead of studying. I like them to teach not just codes but give them the tools, resources and directions make the experience into active learning. Then the biggest value is making it their own and being able put it on a resume or turning it into a project.
Q: If a parent asked you why they should send their child to North Central, what is the one thing you would share with them?
The most significant thing about coming to NCU, is how professors care for their students. Professors really seek them out. The students are in a place where administration cares about them.
Q: What is your own vision for your part in the Love Your Neighbor Initiative?
A: I just have been introduced to the program. However, a big piece of what I have been doing is trying to bring people from the community into the classroom. I like the projects to be hands-on, real projects. For example, we are doing a website for prospective students and parents. We are making real changes to the website. We are able to interact with professionals, not just a profession. We are trying to show the brand through the website. It will help us into the community.
Bradley Nakamura – NCU Student
Interview with Professor Jonathan Heide
Parents, with everything happening so fast in your child’s life, it now comes down to the following question. “Where are you going to send your child off to college?” Your child’s college decision is important because you want to make sure that it’s the right place for them to spend their next 4 years at. With over a thousand colleges in the nation each school offers something different. North Central University is one of the few colleges that are small in attendance, but is big when it comes to opportunities. For example, The College of Arts and Sciences program gives students the opportunity to experience real world problems/activities that will impact the world. This may not seem convincing at the moment , which is why I brought in professor Jonathon K. Heide to explain more about the CAS program.
Professor Heide is an Assistant Professor in Communication Arts, he has taught at NCU for the past 8 years, and served his previous teachings at Minnesota State University Mankato. I’ve been a student of Professor Heide for the past 3 years through multiple communications/media classes. I’m glad I got to learn from him because he is a very determined person that wants his students to succeed in any way possible. I was really excited about the opportunity to interview Professor Heide on this topic because I knew he would have a lot of great things to say.
Why do you teach at North Central University? What is your mission here?
“I love working with students and I love helping students find their vocational purpose. I really appreciate happy moments where I can encourage students to find their purpose and see it as something as something I call “meaningful labor. One of my goals is to help my students see that their devotions to higher beings can also be in the form of “meaningful labor”, something that they can put their mind and body to.”
Share with me what you know about the Love Your Neighbor initiative, and why it is important to the College of Arts & Sciences?
“It’s an intentional way of having the students, faculty, and staff think about the college as part of the community instead of being separate from the community. I really appreciate that because in my 8 years of teaching at NCU one of the things I wanted to do was have my students see themselves as part of the community.”
Have you, or students in your program, gotten involved in any specific community efforts to date?
“In my Writing For Media class one of the big initiatives that I have for every communication student is that they do a community reporting assignment. One of the guidelines for that assignment is that you’re interviewing anyone from North Central, you’re interviewing people from the community of Elliot Park. And that forces students to go out, meet people, and understand just a little bit on how the neighborhood works.”
How do you believe our Christian community at North Central strives to invest in the community, bring together diverse ideas or develop projects? Why is this important?
“It focuses more in the social and communications area, I believe that it’s important because the more diversity you can have in a campus the more learning experiences there could be. Our community has been far too isolated for decades, and it’s very important for NCU to not be isolated any longer. It used to think of itself as a safe haven in a dangerous neighborhood ,and if it maintains that mentality it will not exist anymore.”
What is the value of bringing real world experiences into the classroom? And how do you do that in your particular discipline?
“I think it’s really important and I wish I could do it more. With the school’s Northerner, it’s touch and go some students find it as a challenge to be outside of the classroom as much as they are, but for other students they are willing to go out and meet new people. It really does take some courage to do all of that.”
I would like to thank Professor Heide for allowing me to conduct this interview, and the great things that he had to share about his experience teaching at NCU. I hope all that are reading this story will be inspired to join our CAS program and now know the opportunities that will be given when attending NCU.
Benjamin Conrad – NCU Student