Faculty perspective: “Why I wanted to teach at NAU”

As another semester begins, NAU News would like to welcome back faculty and staff by sharing this story, written by faculty member Tom Filsinger.


Why I wanted to teach at NAU
by Tom Filsinger

I had no choice in the matter. I fell in love with NAU and Flagstaff right away!

They really can’t be beat. The student population is diverse, and so many of them are great people. The faculty is very supportive and they work together as a team. Administration and support staff are very helpful and kind.

Having taught at six colleges and universities in five states, I know what makes a place special. Some of those factors are intangibles such as camaraderie, pride and good will. NAU stands out in these areas.

Then there are the more obvious factors. NAU provides the benefits of a large university, such as interesting events on campus and the availability of a wide range of classes. Students have many opportunities for internships, independent study, research and other experiences that go beyond the classroom to prepare students for careers or continuing towards a higher degree.

I moved to Sedona with my wife in 2015 and started teaching part-time in NAU’s Department of Psychological Sciences in the fall semester. Things went so great that I am now full-time and the faculty in my department has been incredibly supportive. There is a lot of positive energy for teaching and many are also doing meaningful research, which is the hallmark of a major university.

Being a full-time faculty member is a lot of work between grading, committee work and who knows what. But at the end of the day, it’s all worth it. Helping students meet their career, personal and life goals means everything to me.

NAU is very student-centered compared to other colleges where I have taught. It is not merely lip service. Student success is taken very seriously. Faculty members are not only available to assist students during office hours, but many go well beyond even though they are not required to do so.

The icing on the cake? Flagstaff is a charming, scenic community with tons of local personality. The seasons are beautiful and the sun is out all year.

There is so much more to say but the bottom line is NAU is a great place to teach.

Here’s to another great semester!

NAU Communications