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    Julie Smith David
    Dr. Mullins
    inspiration posted May 7, 2010 by Julie Smith David, last edited February 10, 2012 
    1195 Views, 1 Comment
    name:
    Dr. Mullins
    affiliation:
    Michigan State University
    role in your life:

    Dr. Mullins taught my natural science courses that I took during my freshman year at MSU.

    what they did:

    Dr. Mullins had a huge impact on my life, and I can identify three specific events that have influenced the type of professor I became.

    First, Dr. Mullins taught a TV-course during the early 1980's.  The class was taken by thousands of students, but only 40 of us had the pleasure of being in the "live section," and who got to interact with him directly.  He was very kind to the students in the studio, and he worked hard to have us "act naturally" to get the most out of the class - and to make it seem more interactive for those who were watching on TV.  He really connected with students - even in a VERY difficult type of class.

    Second, he was willing to take risks.  The most memorable class he taught was about Copernicus.  He came dressed as the scientist, and spent the entire class in character - explaining why he was sure the earth wasn't the center of the universe - all the while looking over his shoulder for the officials who would surely burst in and take him away.

    Finally, during the third course I took, we were supposed to prick our fingers to get a blood sample to test.  I have a bad fear of needles, and so I asked if I could be exempt from the activity.  Because I had gotten to know him, and had done well in class, he leaned over and said if I was willing to explain some of the concepts, I could stand with him during the "blood letting."  I learned that he was flexible - and compassionate.

    I kept in touch with Dr. Mullins for many years.  The last time I e-mailed him, he remembered where I had sat, what we had done, and it made me realize just how much he cared about the thousands and thousands of students he taught - and it touched me deeply!

    what it did for you:

    I continue to hold up Dr. Mullins as a role model.  I always try to understand the students' points of view, and I try to treat each one as an indivudal.  I also try to be creative in the classroom, and to not be afraid to take risks. 

    I was VERY lucky to have had such a great professor in my life!

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