Professors are People Too: Dr. Cynthia Nicolosi
Dr. Cynthia Nicolosi has been teaching at Regent for four years. She grew up in New England and has traveled all over the world, spending 15 years living across Europe. She has degrees in philosophy, science, psychology, and English, as well as experience running drama clubs and conducting a student choir. Her many skills enable her to teach a wide variety of subjects here at Regent.
What do you teach at Regent?
“Technically, I belong to the Arts and Sciences department. I teach a lot of general education courses; this year, I’m teaching Making of the Christian Life and Making of the Christian Mind, and in the fall, I will teach The True, the Good, and the Beautiful. I came to Regent because my first love is honors. This year, I’m teaching the Great Family, and last semester, I taught the Flourishing World, which are both part of the honors program. I hope to continue with that in the future. I also have a music background, and so I’m in my second semester of Music History. I really hope that’s going to be a fixture of my teaching here. I also work for the Communications department, and I’m a reader and a chair for dissertations in the psychology department. I work for five different departments here!”
What has been your favorite class to teach?
“Oh, that’s a hard question! Definitely, a bad day teaching honors is still better than a good day teaching anything else. I absolutely love teaching the honors classes. Part of that is the material itself, which tends to be the great books. Part of that is also the students, they tend to be really on fire for learning. You don’t go into the honors program unless you are willing to do some extra work! It’s just extraordinary to teach honors classes.”
As a music professor, who is your favorite musical artist?
When asked about her musical preference, Dr. Nicolosi showed off her large collection of classical music CDs. “You’re asking all the hard questions! I listen to music while I work all the time. If I had to be honest about what’s in here the most often, it would be Bach. It’s such organized music, such rational music, that it actually helps me work. After Bach, it would be Hayden, the great structuralist.”
Why did you decide to become a professor?
Dr. Nicolosi explained that her desire for teaching began by instructing her sister, Regent professor, Dr. Harrington, when she was just five years old. “I never had any doubt in my mind that I wanted to be a teacher. I made my sister sit down in front of a little chalkboard I had, I drew a dinosaur, and I said, ‘This is a Tyrannosaurus Rex!’ It’s really a consistent line. I always loved it because I love young people at the university level. University students are finding their way on their own, and to provide them with this treasure of resources that I’ve learned about is a real joy.”
What is something on your bucket list?
“My bucket list would be to spend the rest of my life serving God’s people and Regent University. Putting my roots down here, and giving everything God has given me back to these young people. That’s really the only thing I think about. But Regent is going to have to be faithful. Christian universities are really up against it now! As long as Regent is faithful, I will want to be here. So that’s my bucket list!”
You’ve lived all over Europe. Where is your favorite place you have lived, and why?
“The thing is, every place has its gifts. If you go to Italy, it’s pasta! Also, in Italy, you have this freedom with your emotional life. You have to be emotive in Italy, which for me was a very good experience. Then you go to France, and the French have this lovely appreciation for design and logic, and cheese. I also lived in Ireland for two years. I found the Irish to be very faithful friends. They don’t trust you at first, but then once they take you in, you’re in! I’m really still moved by the depth of the friendship that I have with the Irish people that I met.”
If you could have any superhero power, what would it be?
“I would love to be able to go back in time to some of those moments that I’ve studied and be there. Like sitting around the circle and listening to Socrates. I know I should say Jesus, but I’m too much of a philosopher! I would have liked to have been a fly on the well listening to the conversation between Jesus and the woman at the well. My superpower would be to go back in time to all the things I’ve studied and loved.”
What is your advice to Regent students?
“There are so many things I could say, but if I have to pick one thing, it would be trust in Jesus. When I say that, I mean read the gospels, and believe them. Don’t let this culture and all its lies take it away from you, trust Jesus. That’s what my 61 years have taught me.”