Instructors Who Never Stop Learning
Published on Feb 28, 2018 by Ali Datko
“Never stop learning.”
In a roundtable discussion with fellow Full Sail University faculty, Michael Tabb (Course Director, Creative Writing Master’s) reflects on what it means to be both an educator and a creator. Each role inspires the other, he explains.
He tells a story about how he recently submitted a script, on a whim, to the New Mexico International Film Festival. Just to see if he could direct it. Ultimately, his project won the festival’s award for Best Screenplay.
“I didn’t start out thinking, ‘I’m going to be a teacher,’” he says. “I realized that there were these great situations where I could give back, and I saw other people do it. And the students empower you. They get me jazzed about writing the next thing.”
Cassandra Willard (Course Director, Entertainment Business Master’s) says she is similarly inspired by the intersection of teaching and her own passion for her industry. “I think one of my coolest experiences I’ve had here at Full Sail was speaking on a panel in Atlanta at a music festival, and looking three people down and seeing a graduate. To sit on a panel and have the moderator as a buffer between myself and a grad — it was a light bulb moment for that graduate. Like, ‘Hey, we’re here! We’re at the table. We’re in the industry!’”
Another instructor who’s had the opportunity to speak at several conferences is Paul Kegel (Course Director, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Master’s). Although the subject matter of the talks may vary — from architecture and tier design to banking and credit unions, for instance — they always, in some way, benefit and relate back to his classes at Full Sail. “One of the courses I teach is Innovative Work Environments,” he explains, “which is related to my business. And I recently went back to get my doctorate degree. I’m able to take all that knowledge from my dissertation and not only help my clients, but help the students understand it better.”
At Full Sail, we encourage faculty — to explore, to network, and to keep learning — not only because it helps them grow as individuals, but also because it benefits our students. “I love that this school supports whenever I go to a convention or a conference,” says Michael. “Our industries are always changing. We’ve got to make sure we’re teaching [students] what they’re doing now. It’s great that we work in a place where we have that support system all around us.”
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