August 11, 2020

Adjunct professors share experiences at Capital University

Professors have a substantial part in all students’ lives, yet for the most part, students end up knowing nothing about them. Three adjunct professors have shared stories and information about their careers and their time at Capital.

Professor Doug Shrake has worked as an adjunct professor at Capital University in the Department of biological and environmental sciences for three years.

Professor Shrake

As a little kid, Shrake would gaze at skeletons from a dinosaur at a museum. It was then that he decided he was set on learning more about them.

Since then, Shrake graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio University and went on to get his Masters in geology, with a paleontology thesis, at Wright State University. Shrake has also completed 25 years of geologic research throughout Ohio as well as teaching science courses.

His classes at Capital include physical geology (GEO-250), fundamentals of science (UC-240), and natural disasters (UC-240).

Shrake teaches at other college campuses as well. He has taught at the Columbus State Community College since December 2010 and Ohio Dominican since August 2012.”

When it comes to teaching at Capital, though, there are some things that stand out to Shrake.

“I love how welcoming the administration is to the adjunct faculty,” Shrake said. “We are treated as a value of the staff at the school. I also enjoy the students that I have met here at Capital University.”

Another adjunct professor is professor Joy Longfellow. After choosing Capital University as a fourth generation, Longfellow has taught both full-time and, currently, part-time for 25 years in the math department.

Longfellow has always seen herself as a teacher; however, it was not until later when she figured out what she wanted to teach.

Joy Longfellow

“After I was in high school, I found myself helping my classmates with their math homework a lot, and I really enjoyed doing that,” Longfellow said. “It was around that time that I decided I wanted to teach math.”

Her classes at Capital include quantitative reasoning (UC-140) and history of mathematics (MATH-340).

For Longfellow, the community at Capital is what stands out to her.

“I like the people here; faculty, students, and staff here are all nice, caring and dedicated people, and the atmosphere of a small school like Capital University creates a sense of community on campus,” Longfellow said.

Finally, adjunct professor Phil Niemie has worked in the education department for four years.

Before working at Capital, Niemie went to California Polytechnic State University for undergrad, as well as the Ohio State University for graduate school. Niemie went on to teach at Ashland University and the Ohio State University.

Moreover, Niemie became the principle of a Dublin Elementary School and has since retired.

Contrary to both Shrake and Longfellow, Niemie did not envision himself as a professor, instead, he imagined himself as a professional baseball player.

“I got to try out for the Kansas City Royals,” Niemie said, “but it went nowhere as a career move!”

At Capital, Niemie teaches educational psychology (PSYCH-201).

What is amazing is what professors, in all departments, get from their experiences here at Capital.

“This is the best campus that I have ever worked at and the most consistently pleasant working and learning environment,” Niemie said.

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