Frank’s Educator of the Month: Professor Conrad Nankin

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We are excited to announce July’s Educator of the Month, Professor Conrad Nankin from Pace University. Professor Nankin was nominated by a previous student for, “Being a great mentor and always going above and beyond for his students…”

Learn more about Professor Conrad Nankin below!

1. Where do you work, and how long have you been working in education?

I teach at the Lubin School of Business at Pace University.  I am a business practitioner who began teaching at the college level in 1997, first as an adjunct professor and then, in 2009, as a full-time Clinical Asst. Professor.

2. What made you want to work in education?

Teaching is a calling that you feel within your being. A builder has to build, a writer has to write, a teacher has to teach.  But what does teaching really mean?  It means that a key joy in your life comes from helping others learn, which means their success is your success, too. 

3. What do you love most about your job?

As in cartoons, seeing a “light bulb” turn on above a student’s head!  Of course, it is not a literal light bulb. Rather, it is that recognizable expression that one sees in a student’s eyes and face that communicates true understanding.  It does not happen that often right in the classroom, but when it does happen, it’s magic!

4. What’s your fondest student memory?

Ultimately, teaching is about making a constructive difference in another life.  So, my fondest memories are of all the students who have kept in touch with me after graduation, occasionally sharing dinners, letting me know about their career advancements, and inviting me into their personal lives … even if it is only momentarily. This lets me know that I must have succeeded in some small way with those individuals.

5. How has the pandemic affected your teaching style and what have you done to overcome it?

The pandemic has mandated multiple delivery technologies, but within those that I have decided to use, my style has remained the same.  Whether students are with me in a physical classroom or on a Zoom screen or I am using both at the same time, I have to feel each student’s presence and each of them should be able to feel mine as well as those of the other students. 

That is what I strive for regardless of the delivery system.  It’s called engagement!  If a student is not engaged by the curriculum or by the teacher, then little or no learning takes place.  If they are, then the magic happens … not only then, but throughout their lives.

6. If you could offer students one piece of advice, what would it be?

Learn as much as you can in as many areas as you can while still in school, and do not be shy about asking questions in class.  Some of the best learning that goes on in my classes happen when students ask pertinent, probing questions or make comments that come from experiences in their own lives.  Also, it will help you in life if you learn how to properly frame a question. 

I tell my students that if you frame a question properly, the solution usually appears miraculously before a response from an instructor is even given.  In general, liberal questioning from students in open discussions with their professors tends to expand the curriculum and the knowledge gained.  

Want to nominate your own incredible financial aid advisor, teacher, principal, or administrator? Do it here.