Dr. Yesudas Choondassery, a School of Liberal Arts faculty member who has been working with honors students, has an interesting story to tell about his life and experiences relating to college and his career. He has some great advice for students, and some suggestions that could help improve a student’s life.
Encouraged by his father to do the best he could, Dr. Choondassery went to college and earned his Doctorate, a Ph.D. in Philosophy. During his graduate studies, his mentor encouraged him and changed his life; at this point he decided to influence other’s lives.
As a teacher, Dr. Choondassery has found that by giving small lectures and presenting questions to his students, he engages his audience in his teaching experience. He promotes interaction, and based on their feedback, he challenges students to excel. This method of teaching is very different from his own college experience, where he would typically endure 45-minute lectures without interruption. His experience caused him to reevaluate teaching styles. His approach has earned him distinction; he was the recipient of the Faculty of the Year Award in 2010.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Choondassery has found that stress greatly affects a student's performance. He believes it is not just one thing that causes the stress, but many things. Students are often busy with jobs, their family, and other outside influences. He recommends that students who are overwhelmed consider making a list of stressors, which may provide a better perspective on their situation and how to handle it. Dr. Choondassery believes all situations are a part of life's learning experiences, and that these lessons may be useful in the future.
Dr. Choondassery finds honors students very interesting. They show their skills and abilities through hard work. Honors students are different from other students because they are more motivated. As a professor in the Honors Program for two years, he has found that the honors student needs to be challenged. He finds it perplexing to teach those who excel alongside those who are a little lax, or content. His desire is to motivate those who are ahead, to keep them interested and driven, as he attempts to encourage those who are not at the top by helping them move forward. Dr. Choondassery is teaching several honors classes this semester.