Shannon Fatjo: Life-changing professors
April 17, 2014
As I near the end of my academic career here in Steamboat at Colorado Mountain College, I can't help but reflect on the experiences I have had, the diversity of the campus within students and staff, the knowledge I have gained and the growth I have experienced.
I have spent the better part of the past six years off and on attending a variety of courses through CMC both online/IVS and on campus. I successfully earned an AAS in 2011, mainly through online/IVS courses, and will be concluding my endeavors this May (May 3 to be exact!) with earning my BSBA. I must say, I have felt the most growth academically, personally and professionally within the past two years, mainly in part due to two professors I have had the privilege and honor of learning from.
Living in a fairly lax community, it may be assumed (and for the most part accurately assumed) that the students and staff would mimic and/or adopt to our "atmosphere," which in part, I feel can de-value our educational endeavors, and as students, de-value our expectations of what a higher learning experience should be.
With that said, I would say the two professors who have challenged me the most, and have truly lived up to my expectations of the "college professor, and experience," have been associate professor Martyn Kingston, PhD, MBA, and professor Perry D. Ninger, CPA, MBA. Although my perception and experiences with these two professors is one of many in a pool of students and staff, it seems to me the value they add to our community and CMC is irreplaceable, far overlooked and extremely discredited.
For students out there looking at taking college courses and/or are currently taking courses at CMC-Alpine, I would highly recommend enrolling in a few of the courses these two professors teach. Despite the misconception of these professors being "hard," the actuality is, you will experience the most academic, personal and professional growth by taking a few courses with them, than you may throughout the entirety of your academic careers.
In closing, as a "mature/older" student I would offer some words of advice in saying, you get what you give. If you become too accepting of a lackadaisical learning environment, it's likely you will create those habits in your professional endeavors. If you don't realize and take advantage of the gems you have standing before you simply because they expect you to put the work in, you are missing the concept of why you are enrolled. It's all about growing in all aspects, but if you are unwilling to be challenged and to strive for excellence, you are sadly missing a rewarding experience.
Professor Kingston and Professor Ninger, I thank you for your dedication and perseverance in your service to our community and to our CMC student body despite the obstacles you face with students, staff and the academic boards. Your work has not gone unnoticed by this student/community member.