Whether it’s over email or in-person in a classroom environment, students generally only reach out to their professors for questions, clarifications or other class-related issues. They seldom get to know their teachers on a personal level, especially in Drexel’s fast-paced 10-week terms.
This one-dimensional relationship between teachers and students is what inspired the creation of Drexel University Online’s new podcast series called “Drexel’s 10,000 Hours” — to hopefully break that taboo.
Named after writer Malcolm Gladwell’s popular practice theory that it takes someone 10,000 hours of practice before they become an expert at something, the series aims to help students connect with the faculty by giving the professors a platform to discuss their work and personal lives.
The first season of the podcast series, hosted by Maurice Baynard, a research scientist, educator, ed-tech entrepreneur and former Drexel professor, was released June 25 consisting of six, 20-minute episodes. Each episode features an informal conversation with a different faculty member. The first episode spotlights Veronica Carey an associate clinical professor and assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the College of Nursing and Health Professions.
The following five episodes feature Joe Hancock, a design & merchandising professor in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design; Aroutis Foster, an associate professor in the School of Education; Charles Cook, an assistant clinical professor in the School of Engineering; Kristen Betts, a clinical professor in the School of Education; and Paul Flanagan, an assistant professor in the Thomas R. Kline School of Law.
What makes this podcast series special is that it humanizes professors. The nearly half-hour conversations Baynard has with each professor includes personal stories about their upbringing, college days, first jobs and hobbies.
“The most exciting moments come when someone who is accustomed to answering the question ‘what do you do?’ or ‘explain your area of research’ gets to make a surprising connection between their private selves, stories that might only be known to family and close friends, and their professional work,” Baynard told DrexelNow. “As much as we are attempting to answer ‘tell us how you got here,’ we’re also trying to ask ‘tell us who you really are, what you’re passionate about and why is it important to how you see the world?’”
The first season of “Drexel’s 10,000 Hours” podcast series is available on the10000hours.org. The podcast is also available on SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts and Google Play Music.