Recently, first-year honor societies Alpha Lambda Delta & Phi Eta Sigma asked new inductees to share which instructor had influenced them during their first year and how this individual had shaped their academic experience. Inductees wrote about three of our faculty members: Steve Butler, Hien Nguyen and Gail Johnston. Their comments follow:
Dr. Steve Butler has been a great mentor for me at Iowa State University. He made me feel as though I had chosen the right major. Dr. Butler has helped me immensely. Not only has he helped me succeed in my math classes, but he has helped me find my own path to success and happiness.
Professor Gail Johnston has been my most influential teacher here at Iowa State. She has a great attitude towards education and she truly cares about her all of her students. She is easy to approach and loves answering question. I know she is very passionate about her job and that makes her a great teacher and an especially good role model for future teachers.
Xuan Hien Nguyen
Xuan Hien Nguyen, my small class Math 165 professor, demonstrated throughout my first semester at Iowa State what it means to love your work and love being able to share it with others. No matter what the topic was for the day, whether it was hot or cold in the classroom, or if the class was being noisy or not, Hien always taught with an enthusiasm for making sure we all understood the material.
Not only does she care about her students, but she also takes, or should take, a lot of pride in her lesson plans and preparation for each lecture.
Hien’s dedication to her work has taught me a number of things that I now practice and plan to carry with me for a very long time. I am sure she did not intentionally instill these ideas in my mind, but by leading by example, she has shown me the importance of excelling beyond others expectations.
I now understand with more certainty that accomplishing only the bare minimum should never be a standard that someone sets for themselves. I have taken this belief and renewed my dedication towards excelling in my classes as well as other aspects of my college life. I feel driven to work as hard as possible but to also enjoy my learning at the same time. Thanks to the simple leadership of one outstanding professor at Iowa State, I know that I am going to keep pushing my limits during my time at Iowa State and well into my professional future as an engineer.
Members of the Alpha Lambda Delta & Phi Eta Sigma honor societies thank these individuals for the work they do to make this an outstanding institution where first-year students feel affirmed, encouraged and successful!