Spotlight on Professor Sam Schriner
What do you enjoy most about your work/teaching students at UCI?
I very much enjoy explaining things to others and talking about science in general. I also learn a lot teaching. In every class, there is at least one student that asks a question for which I have no idea what the answer is. I will always try to figure it out, so if I’m asked again, I’ll know. The other thing I’ve noticed is that people in my age bracket are mostly boring. Students are much more fun to talk to.
I think the department is amazing. It’s a relatively small group of friendly, supportive faculty and advisory staff. I also believe that the students get extra attention that they may not receive in other departments.
What is your favorite course to teach and why?
I enjoy all my classes, but if I were to pick one, I might say the speech class. I feel this class is more like coaching, rather than teaching. I can clearly see some students improve, sometimes dramatically, over the course of a single class. Plus, since the students are doing most of the talking, I get to see the classroom more from their perspective.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
When I first started teaching, I thought all I had to do was stand up in front of the class and talk. Now I wish had some training in psychiatry or counseling. I’ve found that there’s a whole lot more that goes into teaching that just explaining things and grading exams. DDP (diet Dr. Pepper) is the main thing that keeps me going, in the classroom and in life.