A guide to great general education class professors

Thursday, July 25, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT
Angela Speck, an astronomy professor at MU, resumes teaching her Introduction to Modern Astrophysics class after being awarded a 2013 Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence.

COLUMBIA – Incoming freshmen, no matter the major, can take many of the same classes. Before making general education class choices, check out these student testimonials on a few of their favorite professors.

Bethany Stone, Biological Sciences 1010: General Principles and Concepts of Biology

"She was above all interested in student learning, always trying to make lessons fun and concepts understandable, and her curriculum is designed to make you show up to class and do your work."

— Emily Comish, MU sophomore

"It was clear from the first day of class that Dr. Stone has a passion for teaching biology in a way that is relevant and relatable. She addressed the fact that most in the room were nonbiology majors who needed the class for a general education requirement and emphasized that she would make the class fun and enjoyable even for non-science type people. She did just that!

"Dr. Stone used technology extensively to present information and curated it all to make it relatable to our every day life (discussing viruses and genetic diseases when talking about cells and genetics). She also understood that teaching is both a science and an art and was continuously figuring out how to improve her delivery."

— Tyler Ricketts, 2013 MU graduate

Wayne Brekhus, Sociology 1000: Introduction to Sociology

"He was so passionate about teaching, and he always had a joke that left you not knowing what to expect during class. All around, he makes things easy to understand."

– Chelsea Weidauer, MU junior

"I enjoyed having Professor Brekhus for Sociology 1000 because he kept the classroom entertaining. He puts humor into his lectures to keep the focus on track but the atmosphere fun."

– Molly Vanherck, MU sophomore

Michael Barnes, Classical Humanities 1060: Classical Mythology

"I had him for Classical Mythology in 2010 and thought the class was going to be a blow off and I would only go to take tests when necessary. I ended up attending every class three days a week and found the subject much more interesting than I anticipated. Much of my interest was due to Barnes' teaching style and genuine enthusiasm for mythology."

– James Hammond, 2010 MU graduate

"I looked forward to his class every day. He made learning about Greek mythology very interesting. His lectures were more like "story time." We would just sit and listen to the stories, and he had the slides up with the notes written word for word.

"When it was time to study for exams, all you needed to do was look over your notes once and you knew everything from the story."

– Imani Walker, MU junior

Julianne Ludlamcq, Psychology 1000: General Psychology

"I had the pleasure of learning social psychology from Julianne Ludlam; social psychology filled my behavioral science requirement. I wasn't particularly interested in social psychology as a topic, but she made it interesting.

"She is the happiest professor I've ever had the pleasure to experience. She truly loves social psych, loves teaching her students, and that love and enjoyment of her craft is infectious. Being in her class just made my days more enjoyable."

– Matthew Yarick, MU senior

"I had Professor Ludlam in Psych 1000, and she is without a doubt my favorite professor at MU. I took her abnormal psych class also. Her way of structuring lecture and class participation really helped me get involved with the material in a more interesting way. She does use for review and attendance, but her lectures are hard to want to miss anyway."

– Allison Kuk, MU sophomore

William Horner, Political Science 1100: American Government

"Dr. Horner was my favorite professor freshman year. I had him for Introduction to Political Science (Poli Sci 1100) and I absolutely loved his class. He wears Hawaiian shirts just about every day, and he has the best sense of humor.

He has a high level of excitement and engagement that he brings into his lectures, and once in a while he'll play "Saturday Night Live" clips that relate back to the lecture content (he actually wrote a book about SNL and politics).

I highly recommend him to any freshman who needs to take a political science class. Definitely one of the best decisions I made my first semester at Mizzou."

– Ali Colwell, MU junior

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