If you've ever taken a large lecture class, chances are you know this environment is not the most conducive for interactive learning. For Dr. Johnathan Tedesco, his disdain for the impersonal nature of these types of settings is what made teaching at Lake Erie College so appealing.
The child of a pharmaceutical professional, John “grew up all over the country,” as his family moved every couple of years. He ultimately landed in Ashland, Ohio where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Ashland University. Since the Ohio weather hadn’t scared him away, John went on to earn his Ph.D. in chemistry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where he would then take his first collegiate teaching job in 2008.
After two years of teaching at Case, John came across a job listing for a teaching position in the chemistry department at Lake Erie College. “Having seen the effect of a large class size on the academic experience at Case, and remembering the impact that my professors had on my career as a student at Ashland and my trajectory afterwards, it became quickly apparent that having such an impact on students in large programs was impossible,” he said. “The job opening at LEC gave me the chance to move to a small, liberal arts environment, which is where I wanted to be.”
Without surprise, John’s favorite thing about working at Lake Erie College is the opportunity to teach and interact with students. “In particular, getting to follow the progress of students from the time they walk through the door to the time they graduate and move on to the next stages of their lives is especially rewarding,” he said. “It is always nice to be able to watch students grow and achieve their goals, both at LEC and after they graduate.”
With this mindset, John feels most successful in his job when his students are driven to pursue their goals and engage with their peers and professors. “I think the biggest difference at LEC [versus larger schools] is that, if a student feels an aspect of his or her experience is lacking, he or she can engage with the faculty and change that,” he said. “Being a part of that process really sets LEC apart for me.”
When asked what advice he would give to prospective students of the College, John encourages them to realize what LEC has to offer them and what they have to offer LEC. “The faculty and staff here are committed to helping you realize your goals,” he said. He also urges prospective students to consider taking courses in Austin Hall, his favorite place at LEC. As he put it, “We have the most fun on campus!"