When I was an undergraduate student at Middle Tennessee State University in the early 1990s, I was fortunate to have enrolled in classes with professors who were not only subject matter experts in their fields of study, but who were teaching for the right reasons and genuinely cared about the academic lives and progression of their pupils.
Four of the distinguished MTSU professors who made a profound impact on my academic and professional career were Drs. Robert Petersen, Allen Hibbard, Ed Kimbrell, and Glenn Himebaugh. While each one taught focused classes in their own disciplines, there were commonalities among these talented educators that affected me profoundly in my development as a scholar and writer.
First, each was incredibly generous and patient in the allocation of their time outside of class. Sure, all instructors keep office hours, but these gentleman not only welcomed me into their work space after class, but engaged me in thought provoking conversation that stimulated my intellectual curiosity and encouraged me to reach beyond the obvious and my limited potential.
Second, each scholar and mentor was critical, but fair. They didn’t tear me down where I fell short, but instead attempted to gently explain why another approach to a topic was preferable or necessary and in so doing made my next effort better.
Finally, all of these academicians were willing to share personal and professional contacts, providing me with resources in my area of study that went beyond the classroom and campus, resources that exposed me to different voices, ideas, and inspirations.
That’s why in the acknowledgement section of my new book, So You Want To Be a Cop: What Everyone Should Know Before Entering a Law Enforcement Career from Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, you will find these four distinguished professors and scholars from MTSU listed among those I acknowledge for their support and generosity of spirit.