By Alejandra Garcia
The population of male professors at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is steadily increasing; in almost every department, there is at least one male professor. No matter whether the professor is male or female, the message of SMWC shows in their teaching.
Students at SMWC are accustomed to both male and female professors, but many of these professors have had to adjust to teaching at an all women’s college.
Dr. Doug Scheib, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at SMWC, gives insight on the male professor’s perspective through a question and answer session.
Alejandra Garcia: Why did you pick SMWC to teach at?
Doug Scheib: “Well, as a mathematician, I think that this is one of the areas where women are under represented. I think that women should really have a big impact in the field of mathematics. I was very eager to work with some women, to help them realize that they are capable of doing math, that they can be good in math and expose their interest in math.”
Alejandra Garcia: What have been your most memorable moments this year in regards to women’s activities?
Doug Scheib: “I remember the first time I saw the ring pounding, that was really interesting I had never seen anything like that before. That is a really cool tradition; it’s really neat that they do that every day until ring day.”
Alejandra Garcia: Do you feel welcome to any of these events?
Doug Scheib: “I definitely do, I have had many students invite me to like Nunsense this weekend and if I can, I certainly do participate in taking part, such as ring day last year and the commencement ceremony.”
Alejandra Garcia: Do you feel like there’s a mark-able difference in the way you are regarded, because you are a male teacher here?
Doug Scheib: “I don’t think so, I mean even because there are so many other males that I probably just think that the students don’t really think much of a male teacher, it doesn’t seem like, I don’t think that I’m any different. Maybe if I was like one of the first male teachers, maybe that would be different. But I feel that I am not treated any different as a male.”
Alejandra Garcia: Is the college matching up to the ideas that you had imagined for its future when you got here?
Doug Scheib: “I really didn’t know what to expect when I got here. I never attended an all males school; I never knew anyone who attended all female, single gender school. I didn’t really know what to expect. I gave a lesson presentation, it was over the summer, just with a few students, so I didn’t really know what to expect when I got here. So it’s been a good experience I think that both our size and being single gender, that combination really creates a very tight community involving the students.”
Alejandra Garcia: Where do you imagine your students going, what kind of future do you hope for them?
Doug Scheib: “I hope that what they gain, I mean most of them are going to forget a lot of the facts that they learned in the classroom, just the other things that they can take, the intangibles, things that will just make them really good employees, good citizens that they really take with them the sort of things that they can apply to several different jobs. So hopefully some will go to graduate school— maybe go on to actually doing something specific to math—that they just gain valuable life skills that go beyond textbooks and beyond equations. There are certain things that you should leave college knowing, such as fact wise and dong formulas, but there’s a lot of things will help you think about things. You may not remember this formula from five years ago or five days from now, but do you remember how to think about the problem. That to me is more important.”
Alejandra Garcia: Has being here molded your ideas on women’s rights or any activities?
Doug Scheib: “I would say not because I already, you know, felt that women should not be treated any different than men, they should not be paid any less, rights should not be any less than men, so being here hasn’t necessarily increased it because I already view that they should be at the top, I mean like you know they should be at an equal standing, it really hasn’t enhanced because it could not get any higher.”
Though teaching at an all women’s college may not be the norm for the male professors, it has given them new insight in to teaching in different situations.
As Dr. Scheib says, “both our size and being single gender, that combination really creates a very tight community involving the students.”