Boston College is full of professors who will make you think twice before skipping their 9 a.m. class or skimming over the next reading. These professors go beyond numbers and letters to look deeper into each of their students’ efforts and learning potential. They’re always pushing the classroom limits to teach their undergrads in the most efficient, effective way possible. They’re unique, intelligent and highly committed to their careers building the millennial generation. By just sitting in their office hours for just 10 minutes or attending a lecture, you’ll fuel your purpose so that you can set the world aflame.
You’ll want to be one of the lucky students to take a class with one of these professors before you graduate from BC.
1. Professor Kerry Cronin
You’ve probably already heard her name before even coming to BC. Cronin is a Philosophy Department Fellow, a professor of Theology, the Associate Director of the Lonergan Center and and love expert. Could she be any cooler? Across campus, students know Cronin for her famous dating assignment and her strong opposition to the popular hookup culture that haunts BC. But Professor Cronin’s impact on students transcends their romantic lives. Although she is demanding when it comes to coursework, Cronin builds strong relationships with her students.
“In one of our sessions I found myself telling her things I have never told anyone else and she helped me work through a lot of the turmoil that comes with freshmen year,” sophomore Amanda Ilaria said. Cronin is also thankful for her students and the effort each one of them puts in the class. “At the very end of the year, she thanked us for being in her class and being engaged and thoughtful. That really resonated with me because I’ve never had a teacher thank me for the hard work I put in their class,” Ilaria said.
2. Professor Ethan Sullivan
You know those classes where only the teacher talks and students don’t even whisper a word to each other? Professor Sullivan avoids this classroom environment at all costs. “Sullivan cares so much about his students both inside and outside the classroom and he cultivates a strong community among the students in each class,” senior Brooke Barlett said.
Professor Sullivan in the CSOM Department is such an engaging teacher that students didn’t get enough of him in his freshman year Portico class. When they become seniors, many of them enroll in his highly demanded capstone, “The Moral Of The Story.” “I’d highly recommend his capstone because it was a great way to reflect on my college experience and discuss how to best transition out of BC and cultivate our best selves,” Barlett said. Whether he talks about capitalism or the meaning of life, Sullivan encourages students to voice their own thoughts and listen to different opinions.
3. Professor John Gallaugher
For some professors, the classroom setting isn’t enough to achieve the maximum amount of learning. Professor Gallaugher is most certainly one of them. In his award winning course “Tech Trek,” Professor Gallaugher combines classroom learning with some off-campus experience by taking his class on a weeklong trip to Silicon Valley. “We studied 20 different tech companies, ranging from small startups to public companies like Facebook, Apple and Google,” junior Ameet Kallarackal said. Professor Gallaugher believes in his students; over this trip, he introduces students to BC alumni who now work in important positions in these renowned tech companies, seeking to inspire them to do the same. “Professor G has inspiring energy, cares deeply about his students and he works tirelessly and brilliantly, ultimately so that we can pay it forward like his past students who host us out in Silicon Valley,” Kallarackal added.
4. Professor Susan Roberts
For all freshmen dreading their required First Year Writing Seminar, Professor Susan Roberts is the solution to your fears. She will make writing something you want to do, rather than something you have to do. Her course content on art and music and her witty personality are more than enough to keep anyone absolutely hooked. With Professor Roberts, research papers can turn into an analysis on Kendrick Lamar and class discussions become meaningful conversations with a friend. “One time she asked us if we ever told our parents the worst thing we’ve done our freshman year,” sophomore Victoria Ang said. “She’s really unique as a professor because she’s really personable. She’s really encouraging about academic work, and when she speaks to you she always makes you feel like your work is important and has potential.”
5. Professor Thomas Kaplan Maxfield
When you walk into a classroom to the contagious rhythm of ‘60s rock and find a man with bushy white hair and mustache wearing a crazy patterned tie, you know you’re in TKM’s class. He teaches First Year Writing Seminar, Creative Nonfiction and Love and Other Difficulties, where his wisdom on romance rivals Cupid’s. Thomas Kaplan-Maxfield is perhaps one of the coolest professors in BC. Through his funny and caring personality, he establishes strong bonds with his students, whom he refers to as his “gang.”
“I struggled with depression this year and he was always available to talk to me and support me through anything,” sophomore Louisa MacEwan said. “He could always tell if I was having a bad day and would just talk me through it. He let me come to his office whenever I wanted to, and always made sure I was in a safe place and not was not alone. I probably wouldn’t have made it through my freshman year without him.” If you are looking for an unconventional and eye-opening professor, TKM is your guy.
6. Professor Nick DiSalvatore
Having to satisfy the core Philosophy and Theology core requirements at BC can feel like a burden to a lot of students. But not when you have Nick DiSalvatore as your professor for Perspectives or Pulse. Not everyone can relate lectures on Plato or passages from the Bible to his students’ lives, but Nick certainly can. Senior Bennet Johnson recalled that Nick would regularly grab coffee with his students one-on-one to ask them about their lives outside the classroom, while making sure they understood the content of the course. “The extra effort and compassion for his students, along with being a lively lecturer, truly made Nick stand out as a fantastic professor,” Johnson said.
7. Professor Igor Minevich
That one mathematics core requirement can be the worst nightmare for word-lovers. Most of us suffer from high school math class PTSD, and fully believe we’re incapable of solving a simple equation. But Professor Igor Minevich gives a 180-degree turn to non-math students in his course “Ideas in Mathematics.” He shows the fun side of algebra and geometry through games such as Sudoku and Battleships, making students enjoy working with numbers. He transforms his students into teachers by encouraging them to work through the mathematics of cryptography, knitting or even origami and teaching them to their classmates. His door is always open for students anyone who wishes to better understand numbers. Beyond that, Professor Minevich acknowledges every tiny bit of effort you put into trying to appreciate what he calls “the beauty of mathematics.”
8.Professor Tracy Regan
The gigantic size of Devlin 008 is not an obstacle for Professor Tracy Regan to keep her students engaged in a large introductory Economics lecture. “Professor Regan, thankfully, has her foot in the door of young adult culture, and is able and willing to weave modern culture, things that students can relate to, into her teaching material,” BC sophomore Daniel Toal said. Whether you are an Economics major or not, Regan’s class is definitely a BC-must. “By no means is she easy, but Professor Regan engages students actively, allowing students to successfully and to individually challenge themselves to work hard, study and to the best that one can,” Toal said.
9. Professor Elizabeth Goizueta
If you happen to think you’re Hispanic at heart, Elizabeth Goizueta is the ideal professor to share this passion with. Her passions include Hispanic art, history and literature. Professor Goizueta is renowned for her senior year capstone course called “Beyond Study Abroad,” where students reflect on their experiences in foreign countries. “I really liked how the structure of the class felt like a book club, where we could talk about each piece of work and really delve into meaningful conversations because the class only for two and a half hours a week, which made me feel like I was able to take more away from the class,” senior Clarissa Bader said. But Professor Goizueta has had a further impact on BC. She works with BC’s McMullen Art Museum where, according to Bader, she curated the display of Cuban artist Rafael Soriano. For all seniors who’ve studied abroad, Professor Elizabeth Goizueta will carry your experiences further along in your life.
10. Professor Seth Jacobs
With Professor Seth Jacobs, the History of the Vietnam War or U.S. Foreign Policy can become anyone’s favorite class, whether you’re a history major or not. His Masters degree in theatre and his passion for history make his lectures so entertaining that some students record them and listen to them later on. Some professors make history seem as just another event that will stay in the past forever, but not Seth Jacobs. He embraces the importance of past events and talks about them in such a way that will keep them alive into the future.