Volume 43 | Number 1 | Fall 2012

Why I Teach & Brightest and Best

Fall 2012 Issue

Why I Teach: Susan Goslee

Assistant Professor
English and Philosophy

Susan Goslee, Ph.D., is a published poet who joined the ISU faculty in the fall semester of 2007. She balances her time between teaching, writing and department committee work. As part of the class, "Literary Magazine Production," Goslee advises the publication of Black Rock & Sage, ISU's student arts journal. The journal publishes creative work ranging from prose and poetry to art and music. Under her guidance Black Rock & Sage changed to a student-only publication.

From her first poems published in Quarterly West, she has had poems published in top journals including Diagram, Sonora Review, Northwest Review, Seneca Review, Gulf Coast, Spork, Indiana Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Prairie Schooner, Third Coast, West Branch, to name but a few.

What inspired you to be a university professor?

I enjoy working with young people and working with a group towards a shared goal or on a shared project.

Why teach in a university setting?

Teaching at ISU enables me to pursue my own research in addition to teaching. This is a great mix.

If you weren't a university professor what do you think you would be doing?

I was a psychology major in college so it's possible I might have pursued a career in developmental/abnormal psychology. I still find that field fascinating.

What prompted you to go into poetry?

I went into poetry because I thought you didn't need to know punctuation! I thought you could say whatever you wanted and nobody cared if it meant anything because it sounded deep. Only later did I learn that it's the exact opposite, but by that point I had already become a poetry addict, so I was stuck.

What has teaching taught you about yourself?

Teaching is often very humbling. I've learned that I'm not naturally a very good listener. However, when I make an effort to listen thoughtfully, it really pays off.

What is the most difficult aspect of teaching?

I'm still learning how to foster discussion as opposed to slipping into lecturing.

What inspired you to enter higher education?

I am keenly interested in writing and studying poetry. I also like teaching writing and literature, so a university setting seems like a natural fit.

Why do you think Black Rock & Sage is significant to ISU?

BR&S is very important because it's the only student journal of creative work at ISU. BR&S is a physical and portable manifestation of student artistic endeavors.

Is there an identifying moment where you knew you had a pronounced positive impact upon a student?

I think you would have to ask my students about that one! It's gratifying when students take a second course with you.

What career/life messages do you try to impart upon your students?

I'm not sure poets are a great source for career advice. I do hope that my students, after they graduate, continue to have opportunities to explore the arts—see plays, read great books, watch great movies, listen to great music, attend great art exhibitions.

My advice for aspiring writers is this: creative writing isn't going anywhere. Your writing skills will only get stronger as you get older. Make sure, in the meantime, that you have a job and can pay rent and feed yourself. Those things are important.

What do you want students to take from their ISU educational experience?

One of my professors once remarked that the more time you give literature, the more it will reward that attention. I hope that all ISU students have a chance to lose themselves in a discipline or course of study—because research and writing builds one's sense of self as well as knowledge.

Susan Goslee

Why I Teach: Howard Gauthier

Assistant Professor
Sport Science and Physical Education
College of Education
ISU-Meridian Health Science Center

What inspired you to enter higher education?

I wanted to coach college basketball since I was 12 years old. I had some outstanding coaches and mentors who helped me to believe in myself and helped me to succeed. These coaches and mentors inspired me to coach college basketball and to make a difference in the lives of young people.

What inspired you to be a university professor?

After 25 years as a coach and administrator within college athletics, it was time for me to take my experiences and turn to the classroom where I could help others to reach for their dreams of becoming coaches and athletic administrators.

What has teaching taught you about yourself?

That I want to make a difference in the lives of young people.

Why teach in a university setting?

I've always wanted to coach and teach at the college level. When I was 12 years old, I had the opportunity to attend a summer basketball camp where college coaches inspired me and made me believe in myself. They helped me to understand that I can succeed in life and that this would begin through working hard at what I loved to do, being a good student, going to college, and striving to be my best. This has been my calling in life . . . to help young people to learn, to grow, and to succeed with strong values.

If you weren't a university professor what do you think you would be doing?

I'd either be an athletic director or a basketball coach at a four-year college somewhere.

What is the most difficult aspect of teaching?

Teaching is extremely rewarding, but the greatest challenge for most faculty members in sports management is staying current with the fast-paced and quickly changing landscape within college sports. This is both exciting and a great challenge.

Is there an identifying moment where you knew you had a pronounced positive impact upon a student?

I hope I'm making a difference. I think I have. Several of my basketball players have gone on to lead successful, productive lives. And more recently, many of our athletic administration students here at ISU have secured some pretty impressive sports management positions throughout the Northwest and the United States. I think we're helping to mold and develop good productive citizens.

What career/life messages do you try to impart upon your students?

Work hard in life, follow your dreams and passions, and make a difference in the lives of others.

Howard Gauthier

Brightest and Best: Dr. Blaine Nisson

Bachelor of Arts in marketing, Idaho State University, 1973
Masters in Education, Idaho State University, 1977
Doctorate in Education Oregon State University, 2003

PROFESSION: Retired as President of Umpqua Community College, Roseburg, Oregon. Currently serves on ISU Alumni Board of Directors.

HOBBIES: Golf, camera club, computer club, hiking club, pickle ball, competitive shuffleboard. Recently completed nine classes through the University of Arizona's Lifelong Learning Program.

LATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Earlier this year, Umpqua Community College named their wine library in honor of Dr. Nisson. His visionary leadership was instrumental in helping to develop the local wine industry. The genesis for developing local wines began when local winemakers approached him and outlined how the local economy would benefit from a source of highly-trained workers and a place for continuing education in the craft of wine making. Dr. Nisson immediately realized what an economic boon this could be to southwestern Oregon and agreed to support the initiative on one condition: he got the winemakers to agree to support the project as equal partners. And so the Southwestern Wine Institute was born.

Dr. Nisson believed that by establishing such a program, broad-based business and economic vitality would result in the growth of a hospitality industry, complete with four-star hotels and restaurants. He had seen similar economic gains occur in southeastern Washington when a similar program was launched.

Dr. Nisson commissioned an economic impact study, which supported his belief that the Umpqua wine region could produce thousands of new jobs and millions in new earnings given the ripple effect of the winemaking program at the college. On January 20, 2012, the first event of the opening of the building was held for college faculty, staff and administration.

WHY I DO WHAT I DO: "I was a first-generation college student. There were many people in my life, my parents, teachers, etc. who provided the support and encouragement I needed to fulfill my education. In the process, I realized I could make the same type of difference in a student's life and in so doing, build a stronger community. In retrospect I look back at the nearly four decades at the programs and services we were able to institute in the places I served and take great satisfaction from the difference it made in so many lives."

ISU RECOLLECTION: "I look back with great fondness and appreciation for the encouragement and help provided by ISU's faculty and staff. They provided the guidance which allowed me to be successful and helped to form my beliefs. I fondly remember people such as Earl Pond, Dean Kelley, Art Lloyd, Tom Edger, Bill Bartz and Bud Davis, to name but a few."

ISU EXPERIENCE: "I served as ASISU president from 1972-73. That experience expanded my vision of what could and should be. As the first in my family to graduate from college, I can't express how truly fortunate I was to start my career at Idaho State University."

WORDS OF WISDOM: "Never let anyone determine your goals and your future or let the lack of resources deter you."

Dr. Blaine Nisson and wife