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Campus News / News

Liberal Arts Lessons Come To Life Over Three Decade Teaching Career

11/05/2020 10:25 am

Glen Moss didn’t study education at Rockford University, but he made the lessons he learned here come to life for students over a 32-year teaching career.

Take, for instance, the Japanese brush painting class he took. That became a hands-on cultural activity for his social studies students. Then there was his work at the school’s radio station: Years later, Glen would set up a ham radio in his classroom for students to speak with people in the countries they were studying.

“I was able to incorporate all of those subject areas because of my liberal arts degree,” said Glen, a 1970 graduate. “I really feel that by not studying education, I was more prepared to teach.”

Glen grew up in the Chicago suburbs and chose Rockford University for its smaller class sizes. He remembers when the school was surrounded by farm fields, with nothing between it and OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center.

Once he started at Rockford University, Glen remembers being impressed with the sheer diversity he found at that small school.

“There were people from other countries and also local people,” he recalled. “You were immersed with and learning from these people and you didn’t even realize it at the time.”

That point was driven home when Glen and other RU students gathered for a five-day event in 1965 celebrating Black culture. At a time of heightened racial tensions, the festival celebrated contributions from Black artists and innovators in a most unlikely place: a small, rural, Midwestern college.

“It had authors, chemists, entertainers – some of the biggest names were there,” Glen remembered. “At the time, Rockford University only had 400 students, so it was definitely something you would always remember.”