The Student Becomes the Teacher
“If someone is looking to make friends and have a great time while receiving a great education - UE is the place.”
Class of 2019
Aaron Straight is both student and teacher these days. The University of Evansville junior is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemistry while volunteering as a chemistry teacher and tutor at Newburgh Christian School.
Aaron, a graduate of NCS, was asked by the school to help out when their science teacher moved to Texas. He knew it would be a challenge due to his own class schedule but was happy to take on the responsibility and give back to the community by helping younger students achieve their academic goals.
“I love being a part of the students’ lives,” he said. “Even if it’s just spending a few minutes before starting class to ask how everyone has been and what exciting events have happened.”
Aaron believes that people learn best when they are enjoying what they're learning, and he has incorporated that philosophy into his classroom at NCS.
“One of my students is a history buff. Whenever I'm teaching or explaining a topic, he jumps in and relates it to some historical event and makes us all laugh. So now we're always trying to relate topics to other life experiences. That allows them to memorize the material more easily.”
Aaron enjoys teaching, though it has been a bit difficult to balance with his own course work. The experience has made him consider a career as a chemistry professor.
Aaron’s own professors at UE have inspired his teaching at NCS. In particular, he considers Mike Slade, assistant professor of chemistry, his role model when working with the students at NCS.
“He is very down-to-earth, and I love how he uses clickers and slides to keep students engaged, as well as to see their progress in the course material.”
Annette Parks, chair of the history department, and Mari Plikuhn, associate professor of sociology, are also favorites of Aaron’s.
All three of these professors, Aaron noted, are “full of energy that keeps class exciting.”
He finds the close relationship between UE professors and their students one of the best things about the University.
“The campus is close-knit, and everyone seems to know everyone else,” he explained. “That creates a sense of unity and joy on campus. If someone is looking to make friends and have a great time while receiving a great education - UE is the place.”