Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

Throughout your academic years, you have most likely encountered teachers who have made a long-lasting impression on your life. West Chester University has a unique set of faculty members, many who have impacted the lives of their students in different ways.

John Levinson*, a dual major in finance and economics at WCU, expressed how Richard Scholl, a professor in the English department, inspired him.

“Richard Scholl is amazing at making students want to be successful in life. His teaching technique is what originally drew my attention to him, but the life lessons that are given from his personal experience, and his advice about the real world has truly opened my eyes,” said Levinson.

Levinson went on to explain that his favorite thing about Scholl was the way he pushed his students to become better writers by giving them critical and helpful feedback on their papers.

Sophia Martinez, a student majoring in communicative disorders, relayedher feelings on Jennifer Walsh Means, a professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

“Dr. Means inspired me because of the way she taught. She genuinely wants her students to learn and she teaches in a way that everyone will understand. Dr. Means uses explanations, demonstrations and examples while teaching her class, and she doesn’t just read from the textbook. Her exams focused only on the information that was taught in class, so students were never struggling during a test,” said Martinez.

Brooke Purcell, a communication studies major working towards a minor in journalism, raved about her Interviewing and Networking professor from the Department of Communication Studies, Kanan Sawyer.

“Dr. Sawyer was probably the toughest professor I have had throughout my years at WCU, but she was the best. Her Interviewing and Networking class was the most useful course I have ever taken because I gained real life experience,” said Purcell.

Purcell commented that she was impressed with the way Dr. Sawyer prepared her students to excel in job interviews and networking events and pushed each individual to be their best.

“Dr. Sawyer is such a successful woman, and everything she has accomplished in her life is truly an inspiration to me,” said Purcell.

Purcell went on to explain that Dr. Sawyer is a great educator who teaches important life lessons that help students flourish beyond the classroom.

Linda Beth, a pre-physical therapy major at WCU, has been greatly impacted by Steven Gambino, her Exercise Science (EXS) 180 professor.

“His style of teaching is great for learning because he is extremely positive and always willing to help. He made the classroom a comfortable environment for asking questions and taught in a way that was relatable. He used real life examples in order to help the students understand the information better. His ultimate goal was to have his students understand the information, be able to apply it, and enjoy what they are learning,” said Beth.

Beth applauded the fact that even though she has not taken a class with Dr. Gambino since freshman year, every time they cross paths he reminds her that he is always available for her to contact if she needs advice for going further with her major or if she needs any help at all.

Although these are only a few of the many inspiring professors at WCU, it is clear to see the long-lasting impact they have left on these students. Each student has their own reasons as to why these professors inspired them. Whether it be their unique teaching style, the comfortable learning environment, the extensive feedback given, the life lessons that were taught or their availability to help, all of these WCU professors are inspirational in their own way.

*The names of students have been changed for confidentiality.

Brianna Preziosi is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. Reach them at

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