MCD Faculty Charlie French
Community and Economic Development Program Leader
"I am inspired by selfless leadership by individuals who do not covet attention, but simply want to make positive change."
What is your current research/professional interest? Rural Innovation
In the course(s) that you teach, what are the typical aspects of the student’s coursework you evaluate? The most important components for assessing students, for me, is their level of engagement/participation in discussion, group project, and quality of final papers. Quizzes are just learning checks to keep students honest.
What drove you to teaching? The opportunity to inspire social and environmental changemakers and hone their skills.
What or who inspires you? I am inspired by selfless leadership by individuals who do not covet attention, but simply want to make positive change. To me, a leader is someone that others are inspired to follow and has little to do with their formal position.
When you were a student, what is one thing you wish you had known? There is more to education than STEM. Those provide fundamental analytical skills, but don't always translate to complex problem solving in the real world. Social sciences, including policy sciences, are every bit as important as STEM disciplines to the sustainability of the planet and society. Perhaps more so.
What advice do you have for your students? Take the time to discover the world while you can.
What is the most recent book you read? A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
How do you spend your free time? I take every minute I can outdoors and spending time with family.
What is your greatest passion – professional or personal? Caring for the family plot of land–spruce-fir forest, wooded trails, and coastal marshland–that I have temporarily been granted steward of.