Meet our faculty spotlight of the the month, Paul Ziegler!
Paul Ziegler is the Academic Advisor for Non-Traditional Teacher Education Programs, professor for Gen. Ed., and the Co-Faculty Advisor for MHAT (Mental Health Advocate Team) Club.
Here’s some questions I asked him, so that we can get to know him and his journey a little bit more:
What college did you attend? What was your major? Did you ever change it?
I attended Roberts for my undergrad and Nazareth College for my graduate degree. I was a psychology major as a freshman, knowing I wanted to work with kids. In my junior year I switched to elementary education along with psychology. My graduate degree is in Literacy.
How did you decide on your major/career?
Ever since I was a young kid I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I had a guidance counselor who discouraged me from pursuing that at first because she felt I couldn’t be nurturing enough as a male and it was unnatural for a male to teach primary grades. When I was in high school I did volunteer work in an elementary classroom and that confirmed my choice.
What do you consider your calling to be? and how does your current job as a faculty/staff member relate?
I feel my calling is to teach and encourage young people. Whether in an elementary classroom or a college classroom, I think I am able to use my God-given talents to encourage and guide students along in their journey.
Do you have any regrets regarding your career path? Any advice to current students exploring career options?
I wish I wouldn’t have listened to my guidance counselor and had followed my heart and my passion from the beginning.
What was the hardest struggle you had as a college student and how did you overcome it? What about as a faculty/staff member?
As a student, I had to work hard academically in my gen ed classes. While my teacher ed classes came naturally, the required math, science, art/music, etc. classes were more of a challenge because they didn’t interest me. I was class president for two years, an RA, worked in Garlock, and my senior year was Student Body President. So I also had struggles with time management and balancing academics and social life.
As a faculty/staff, the most challenging thing was my son’s suicide. Staying upbeat and positive here for my students and advisees while dealing with the worst crisis a parent can experience was a challenge.
What made you decide to work at Roberts in the current position you are in?
I had an amazing experience as an undergrad student here and met my wife here. When I felt I was burning out teaching at the elementary level, working with college students seemed like a nice change. I have loved my time here and am so blessed to work with so many amazing colleagues. However, my favorite part of this job is my friendships with students, even after they graduate. They feel like I have had a great influence on them, when in reality I am truly the one who is blessed to know and work with them.