It took just two years for William Muck, assistant professor of political science, to endear himself as a favorite teacher among North Central College students. He was named the winner of the 2010 Dissinger Award for Junior Faculty with enthusiasm and endorsements.
Muck is overseeing the College's global studies program and teaches Introduction to International Relations, Model United Nations, American Foreign Policy, Global Governance and a capstone Seminar in Global Studies. "A small liberal arts institution allows you to devote your time to developing the classroom," he says. "This means finding ways to make your classes engaging and creating an environment where students feel free to talk with you."
Prior to arriving at North Central in 2008, Muck taught at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after receiving his doctorate from the University of Colorado. The crucial advantage to a smaller campus like North Central is "I see my students in three or four classes," he says. "When you build those relationships, you see some really good work as a result. And we can watch a movie or go out to eat and sample the cuisine from the country we're studying for Model U.N."
His teaching is focused on international politics and helping students "understand the world we live in." For first-year students, that means introducing international topics they've never considered before. For seniors, Muck assigns several books on globalization that represent what he hopes they'll read after graduation. "I want them to keep learning after they leave North Central," he explains.
In addition, the "internationalization" of the campus in recent years complements Muck's curriculum and teaching interests. He serves on the International Programs Committee and is gratified at the number of faculty proposing short-term study abroad courses from all academic disciplines. "North Central's international environment offers so many unique opportunities for students to get excited about."