By now, many of you know that the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) named Collin College Physics professor Dr. Greg Sherman the 2012 Texas Professor of the Year.
But do you know why Dr. Sherman loves physics, what his favorite aspect of teaching is or what his most amazing moment in the field of physics is over the past decade?
Upon his return from accepting the Texas Professor of the Year honor – one that gives Collin College a state record of five Professor of the Year honors – at a Washington D.C. ceremony at the National Press Club, Dr. Sherman provided Cougar News insight to the answers to the questions and more.
Why do you, personally, love physics?
I like understanding how things work. Physics, to a certain extent, is just thinking more carefully about the behavior of everyday things… “What happens when I do this?” …answering this question in physics is a very exhilarating experience.
What is your favorite aspect of teaching?
Honestly, I really like the fact that I get to talk about physics in front of a captive audience. I have my students there for a good hour at a time, and they have to sit and listen to me yap about something I love! The best part is when students develop a love for physics themselves… it is extremely rewarding to be able to pass that along.
What would you say is the most amazing moment in the field of physics in the last decade?
That would have to be the experimental discovery of the Higgs Boson. It was really a momentous discovery, and rightly received a lot of press.
What are your hobbies?
Although it is a little stereotypical, I really enjoy science fiction novels and movies. Somewhat less stereotypical is my love of basketball. I am absolutely terrible at playing the game, but I am a huge fan, and I really enjoy playing when I can find a group who doesn’t mind my incredible lack of coordination and skill.
If you could have an hour to ask any scientist questions, who would you choose and what topic would you select?
I would probably select Richard Feynman, and the topic would be whatever he felt like talking about. He was such a force of personality that a conversation with him on just about anything would have to be riveting.
What do you love most about Collin College?
I really love the small class sizes here. I love that I get to know my students by name, and that I still remember many of their names several semesters later. Having that small community of learning is such an asset for this college, and one of the reasons why an education at Collin College is so valuable.