More Than Just a Professor

More Than Just a Professor

I think the most frightening thing I have done in college is taking a class where I was the only freshman. I remember looking at the online rosters for Botany and for Evolution and finding that I didn’t know anyone in either class, and worse, that I was the youngest student in the each of the classes by far. I showed my parents, and instead of sympathizing with my worries and joining me in my despair, they simply said, “I guess you’ll have to try that much harder.” I went into each class with a plan: sit in the back of the class, be quiet, and hide among my more experienced peers. But Dr. Rischbieter didn’t let that happen. I was called upon every single class period and was expected to speak openly when asked questions. Later that semester, when my parents asked how my classes were going, I raved about how much I loved Botany, Evolution, and especially Dr. R.

Dr. R isn’t your typical college professor. There were weeks during my freshman year when my inbox was filled with messages that had subjects like “Woowww!!!” and “CHECK THIS OUT!” and would contain recent research papers he wanted to share with my classmates and me. Other times, I’d receive emails with subjects like “Are you ok?” whenever I missed class due to a cold. Dr. R. really cared about me when I was in his classes, and he still does, even though I am no longer enrolled in his classes. To this day, I often stop by his office just to say hello for a second, but this always leads to an hour-long conversation about everything from my test coming up in Genetics to his craziest new fossil find.

Dr. R instilled in me a confidence that I was too afraid to show before, and I credit the majority of my success in those courses to him. At PC, Dr. Rischbieter is not a rarity; our professors are some of the most caring, personable people I have ever met, and they inspire me to do my best every single day.

Lexy is a sophomore pre-medical student, majoring in biology from Mooresville, North Carolina.

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