With more than half of all professors teaching part-time, many maintain places of full-time employment outside GW.
Last fall, almost 3,000 of the nearly 4,500 professors taught part-time, according to Office of Institutional Research information.
“(My workplace) is totally convenient, at 18th and K,” said Katherine King, a part-time professor for the School of Media and Public Affairs and director of Marsteller, Washington D.C., a division of global public relations firm Burson-Marsteller.
King has worked since July to develop online publishing programs for Marsteller, a subject she also teaches students this semester in her News Online class.
“My specialization is media and news publishing on the Internet. I’ve been involved in that business for 12 years.” King said. “When I was invited to consider teaching, I thought it would be something that would not only be fun, but would also keep me in the loop with that generation . (and) their perception on how they get their information in this digital age.”
Many professors with outside jobs said they find unanticipated pleasure from bringing their real world into the classroom.
“For a lot of people (teaching) may be the only time you have to exchange ideas with people who are in their late teens and early twenties,” said Douglas Daniel, part-time professor for SMPA and copy editor for the Associated Press.
Daniel, who teaches one section of Introduction to News writing and Reporting, said students are not the only ones learning in his class. “When students ask questions and raise issues and want to know about things regarding your topic, it stimulates the teacher as well,” Daniel said.
One problem adjunct professors who have jobs outside GW face is time management.
“I work 40 hours a week for AP, and spend at least 10 a week in class, preparing for class or grading (for class),” Daniel said. “Finding a good slot in which to teach which balances my schedule was difficult to do.”
Eric Lindstrom, a part-time historical geography of the United States professor, works 40 hours a week as a senior map editor and director of the Map Library at the National Geographic Society. However, he is always thinking about his class.
“My head is swimming with ideas about it all the time,” Lindstrom said.
King said she thinks finding and maintaining a balance is “really fun, actually.”
Daniel added that most adjuncts are not teaching as a means to receive a high-paying salary.
“I think what’s attractive to most adjunct professors is the opportunity to interact with students in an academic setting,” Daniel said. “It’s very rewarding to teach people what is near and dear to you, whether it’s journalism, history, English or business; if you really enjoy your topic you enjoy sharing it.”