Professors Are People Too: Dr. Joshua McMullen

Though the lives of college students often differ greatly, there is one aspect of our undergraduate experience guaranteed to be in common: we all have had professors. Unfortunately, professors are often stereotyped as being dry, boring individuals, who take pleasure in putting their students through hefty loads of grueling homework. Through an uneducated lens, many students see them as individuals only interested in academia and school related issues. However, while they do indeed push us to stretch as people and become better learners, they too are people with hobbies and interests:

I believe professors are people too.

McMullenJosh_01To help prove my point and shed a more friendly, positive light on professors, I decided to conduct a series of interviews, beginning with Dr. Joshua McMullen. He currently serves in Regent University’s College of Arts Sciences as the head of the International Studies, Government, History and Criminal Justice departments. I personally have had the privilege of having Dr. McMullen as a professor for the two history classes I’ve taken at Regent and have learned a wealth of information while in his courses. I’m grateful for all he does for his students and for the dedication to teaching he demonstrates as a member of our school’s faculty. The questions I asked him were intentionally asked to reveal a lighter, and what some may see as a more human side, of such a distinguished professor.

I was greeted warmly by Dr. McMullen upon entering his office which contained a plethora of books and a window with an excellent view. He kindly offered me tea at least twice and showed interest when I told him of my quest to give students a unique look into the lives of faculty at Regent. After continuing in a little more small talk, I kicked off the interview.

“If you could have a meal with anyone from history, who would it be and what would you discuss with them?”

Dr. McMullen: “See that’s the toughest question you could ask a historian… It would be easier if I wasn’t a historian…”
Philip: “I totally understand… We could come back to back to it if you want.”
Dr. McMullen: “Sure.”

If you could share one fun fact with the world, what would it be?
Dr. McMullen: “See if these were actually really difficult questions, I’d be able to answer them… Ok, the highest number of poisonous spiders [in one particular, contained region] live in Australia. I lived in Australia for a year, and I had quite number of experiences.”
(He mentioned to be careful and watch for spiders if I was to ever go there.)

“What’s your favorite TV show?”
Dr. McMullen: “Oh man. You’re asking me to reveal my nerd-dom. Such a vulnerable question… Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That might seem weird to some people… It’s got smart writing.”
He also made note that the show’s writer, Josh Whedon, is good writer in general. Dr. McMullen also noted that Whedon is the writer of the Avengers.

If you could be any other job for one day besides this one, what would it be?
Dr. McMullen: “A Park Ranger… something that got me outside… not a county park ranger mind you.”

“What is one thing (law, norm, trend, etc.) you would eliminate from society if you could?”
Dr. McMullen: “Celebrity culture. I really don’t care what Beyonce wears every day.”
Philip: “I Agree.”

“If you could be any character in fictional literature, who would it be and why?”
Dr. McMullen: “It’s very Christianese, I have to admit, but Aragorn in Lord of The Rings.”

Ok, so back to the first question about having a meal with someone historic…
Dr. McMullen: “So… Caesar Augustus. It’d be really interesting to pick his brain. He’s one of the political geniuses of the ancient world… [We could] go to some gladiator games, watch some people get slaughtered [jokingly of course].”

After the interview was over, I thanked Dr. McMullen for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet. As I left, I had a lingering conviction that through this simple interview, students of Regent and readers may begin to get a clearer look into the lives of our amazing faculty and realize that professors are people too.

Philip is a Staff Writer at the Daily Runner.