Professor of the Week: Ross Coen

Professor: Ross Coen
Department: College of Engineering and Mines (Alaska Center for Energy and Power)

What classes do you teach?

“I teach two sections of Sociology 100X, Individuals, Society and Culture.”

Would you encourage students to major in Sociology?

“I would encourage students to major in whatever they are interested in. I don’t encourage students to major in studies to get a good-paying job after college, but to major in something they love and believe in.”

What do you think makes a good student?

“A good student is someone who goes with the motion and does exactly what is expected of them, but the best student really tries to learn. You don’t come to college to get smart. Students should come to college to bring their smarts to use them to learn better.”

What expectations do you have for your students?

“I expect students to gain a thorough knowledge and to understand their place in society. It’s important to understand why we do what we do and learn how everything we do is affected by society.”

Where are you from?

“Valley City, North Dakota.”

What brought you to Alaska?

“Honestly, it was a whim. I picked it on the map and I came looking for the most beautiful woman in the world and found her. She happens to be my wife.”

What do you do in your spare time?

“Listen to music. I really love blues.”

What’s your favorite quote?

“’The past is never dead. It’s not even past’. William Faulkner.”

Which sociologists would best describe your characteristics?

“Jarvis Cocker, the lead singer of Pulp has really good songs on social commentary.”

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