Making the grade

With the change of professors each semester, many of them can blur together in the minds of students. Some professors, however, go above and beyond to leave a lasting impact on their students.

An FSU professor who really stands out for Erin Munsel, FSU Honors sophomore in pre-pharmacy, is Dr. Clifton Franklund. Munsel had Franklund for microbiology.

“I’ve never been a person who enjoyed biology, and after taking a full year of it as a freshman, the prospect of a microbiology class wasn’t too appealing,” Munsel said. “Dr. Franklund completely changed my mind about biology.”

Munsel took microbiology over the summer; she described the classroom setting as more relaxed, and therefore more enjoyable, than during the regular school year.

Though the material in the class was similar to what Munsel had been taught in other biology courses, she said Franklund’s delivery of the material is what sets him apart from other professors.

According to Munsel, Dr. Franklund relates things in lecture material to real life, which helps her remember information come test time. His stories during class stay on topic with the lecture.

“The thing that makes him stand out most is his sense of humor,” Munsel said. “Where some professors are stiff or distant, he talked and joked with us before class or lab and got to know us as people instead of just students.”

Dr. Franklund’s teaching style has had a large impact on Munsel’s view of biology.

“I never thought it was possible, but Dr. Franklund makes me wish I had more biology courses that I could take with him just so I could have a fun biology class again,” Munsel said.

Another FSU professor who exceeds students’ expectations is Dr. David Griffith.

“Dr. Griffith is very different from a lot of teachers, which in my opinion is a great thing,” Jessica Pilling, FSU sophomore in biology education, said about Griffith, whom she had as an instructor for anatomy and physiology.

Pilling said that Griffith’s unique teaching style set him apart from others.

“He isn’t afraid of getting dirty, he has a lot of stories to tell and is interactive,” Pilling said. “I love that he would stand on his head, run around the classroom or jump on desks to make a boring fact become relevant and entertaining.”

Pilling also said Griffith is very understanding and approachable, which can be hard to come by in a teacher.

“He had a very optimistic attitude towards teaching, and was more interested in the student making connections than interested in how the grade classified a student,” Pilling said. “He was very refreshing to have as a professor. All in all he was just a top-notch teacher.”

Have an instructor who has made a positive impact on your educational career at Ferris? Tell us about it at