Why I teach

Tracy J Farnsworth

Interim Associate Dean and Director
Kasiska School of Health Professions
Division of Health Sciences

What inspired you to be a university professor?
I greatly enjoy teaching, coaching and mentoring the rising generation.

Why teach in a university setting?
I enjoy teaching and mentoring good people of every age. I especially enjoy the rigor and serious conversation that occurs at the collegiate level. Teaching non-traditional students with years of life experience is also gratifying because they more readily engage the material.

If you weren't a university professor what do you think you would be doing?
I enjoy teaching and mentoring good people of every age. I especially enjoy the rigor and serious conversation that occurs at the collegiate level. Teaching non-traditional students with years of life experience is also gratifying because they more readily engage the material.

What has teaching taught you about yourself?
Teaching and mentoring others has reaffirmed my love for young people and a life-long desire to be helpful to others-especially at the crossroads of their lives.

What is the most difficult aspect of teaching?
Finding sufficient time to read deeply, study and stay fully abreast of evolving issues and trends is always a challenge. Blending the best of classic and modern-day teaching techniques-including the use of evolving teaching/learning methodologies-is likewise difficult.

What inspired you to enter higher education?
Teaching, mentoring and just being around students and the college community is both inspiring and fun. Opportunities to be creative and engage the broader health care community also attracted my attention.

Is there an identifying moment where you knew you had a pronounced positive impact upon a student?
Occasional notes and cards remind me I am making at least a small difference in students' lives. Spirited classroom discussions and private advising sessions often invite opportunities to profoundly impact the thinking and behavior of students. It's not difficult to sense when these moments occur.

What career/life messages do you try to impart upon your students?
My students often hear me impart a handful of important ideas, like: You can do it! Never be afraid of hard work . . . Develop not only technical skills, but also conceptual and human relations skills. . . Learn beyond the boundaries of your chosen profession. And when it comes to a formal college education: "get in, graduate and get out!"

What do you want students to take from their ISU educational experience?
I hope students learn to effectively think, write and communicate. I also want students-no matter their discipline-to develop good solid technical, conceptual and human relation skills.

IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY

921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209