Students studying in the library

What are classroom expectations from a professor’s perspective? What do they encourage students to do in order to get a good grade? What advice would they give to incoming Cardinals? These are questions we’ve all asked but haven’t sought the answers to… until now.


Starting a new semester can be both exciting and stressful. Taking new classes with new professors, studying new material. However, all the “new-ness” of starting up again can be troubling when you are not sure what professors are looking for in order to ace their classes.

To save you some time and wondering, I have gone ahead and asked six professors from various areas of study about how to succeed in not only the classes they teach but in life on Concordia University Ann Arbor’s campus as a whole.

Let’s meet our six professors:

Jorge Gonzalez (Haab School of Business)

Jorge Gonzalez

Dr. Jorge Gonzalez has been a professor at CUAA since spring 2001. A business wiz, Professor Gonzalez is known for being a financial genius and for his international business experience.

Spring 2019 classes

Principles of Finance, Principles of Management, International Business, International Finance, Business Policy and Ethical Decision Making

Words of advice for new Concordia students

Start creating a relationship between you and your professor, say hi, make eye contact, talk and ask for help; try to make your professor remember you (for good reasons). Form relationships with other students too, they are your future connections.

Words of advice for current students in his classes

Learn to participate. Don’t be afraid to enter into the discussion. In business there is never a clear solution, we must talk about different options and consider others’ opinions. This is another way to make yourself known to professors.

Favorite part about teaching at CUAA

“Seeing students graduate and get good jobs and go into strong academic graduate programs.”


Liz Peckham (School of Arts and Sciences)

Professor Elizabeth Peckham has been at CUAA since fall 2014. Although she may be associated with the biology department, her knowledge expands into areas of nursing, zoology, physiology and more!

Spring 2019 classes

Pathophysiology, Nursing Pharmacology I & II, Functional Human Biology II, Zoology

Words of advice for new Concordia students

Try everything and keep an open mind – this will help you become connected with other students and faculty on campus.

Words of advice for current students in her classes

We cover a lot of material in class, do NOT wait until the last minute to study for quizzes and exams.

Favorite part about teaching at CUAA

“Getting to interact with the students, even outside of class and once they graduate.”


Kathie Pereira (School of Nursing)

Professor Kathie Pereira is a nursing professor and has been at CUAA since fall 2016. Although she has experience in multiple fields, she finds nursing to be her true passion and loves sharing that passion with her students.

Spring 2019 classes

Foundational Nursing Skills I & II

Words of advice for new Concordia students

Figure out what you want to do – find a direction. Shadow in the positions that interest you, no matter the career path. It’ll be much easier to take classes and be motivated to do well when you have an ultimate goal.

Words of advice for current students in her classes

Get a calendar and write down ALL assignments, tests, social engagements, EVERYTHING (budget your time like you budget your money) – nursing school does not take breaks until you’re done.

Favorite part about teaching at CUAA

“I love to teach my craft: nursing. This is the only level where I can do this. Also, students want to be here which makes teaching more fun.”


Joshua Kittleman (School of Education)

Professor Kittleman has been at CUAA since fall 2017. Within the school of education he is a family life chair who is energetic about the growth of his students during their time here at Concordia.

Spring 2019 classes

Family Dynamics and Resource Management, Youth Culture, and he will oversee practicum and internships for family life education students.

Words of advice for new Concordia students

Take ownership of your academic plan, look back at your graduation plan every semester when scheduling classes to make sure you are staying on track.

Words of advice for current students in his classes

Be present, physically and mentally and intellectually present. Phone off, find a spot in the room that’ll help you focus. Know what distracts you and make sure to avoid it.

Favorite part about teaching at CUAA

“Interaction with the students is my favorite part. Concordia students are the best. I love the attitude they bring to class and their desire to learn from each class makes it worthwhile.”


Theodore Hopkins (School of Arts and Sciences)

Dr. Hopkins has been a professor of theology at CUAA since fall 2015. Hopkins is also a  pastor who loves to dig deeply into theological material. His office door is always open in Krieger and he is excited interact with all of his students.

Spring 2019 classes

Christian Faith, Christian Ethics, Lutheran Confessions, Senior Seminar II

Words of advice for new Concordia students

Don’t be afraid to seek out your professors. Students don’t have to go far to see professors, their doors are always open and we are willing and ready for students to talk to us. I want to talk to students about theology; other professors want to talk about their subjects too.

Words of advice for current students in his classes

Go deeply into the material, don’t stay at the surface level. Don’t just repeat what I say, engage in the thought of the scripture and other materials. Think critically. Think with the material do not simply repeat it.

Favorite part about teaching at CUAA

“Getting to see what my students get excited about and what’s interesting to them. I find it interesting to compare what my personal interests were in college and what the interests of my students are today.”


Beth Steinkellner (School of Arts and Sciences)

Professor Steinkellner has been at CUAA since fall 1997. You will most likely find her in the 2D art studio working with students. She is passionate and knowledgeable about her craft and wants her students to see the beauty in everything they do.

Spring 2019 classes

Color and Media Dynamics, Painting, Art Fundamentals (for non-art majors)

Words of advice for new Concordia students

Make sure in your busy schedule that you schedule time for yourself. Allow time to find out who you are and discover how neat it is. It is easy to get caught up in activities and responsibilities that we forget to be a person.

Words of advice for current students in his classes

Tackle the mole hills not the mountains – take big projects one step at a time (make a list of these smaller bits and when completed check them off) – this process makes big projects more manageable.

Favorite part about teaching at CUAA

“That learning goes both ways. I get to learn alongside my students. I’m not just supervising them. In a studio atmosphere, everybody helps everybody – it’s a true luxury.”


As we all know, there is no simple equation to being a perfect student or getting straight A’s, although participation, attendance, completion of assignments and studying in advance is highly recommended by all professors.

One thing we do know for certain is that here at CUAA, professors care about their students both inside and outside of the classroom. They love what they do and want to share their passion with students. Hopefully after reading this, students may be encouraged to connect with their professors if they have not already and feel refreshed and ready to take on a new semester.

 

— Allie Milot is a student writer and sophomore art major, minoring in marketing.

If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.