After five years of working for the university, Dr. Chad Loewen-Schmidt is finishing his last semester at Shepherd University.
Although Loewen-Schmidt has enjoyed his time at Shepherd, he said that his chance for tenure was approaching, and he either had to commit to the university or change jobs. “It just dawned on me that my choice had to be now,” he said.
Loewen-Schmidt sat in his office with boxes for packing on his floor. A bookshelf is still full of books with literature theories and old classics. As he enjoys his last few weeks of being at Shepherd, Loewen-Schmidt talked about his lifelong love of teaching.
“It’s always been teaching,” he said. As a child, Loewen-Schmidt remembered teaching anyone he could. “I got this buzz from learning,” he said, and he wanted to share that feeling.
Although he’s always had a passion for learning, the past few years have seen a change in direction for Loewen-Schmidt. He said that he began to doubt that teaching was the right fit for him. As a result, he started to think of other career options.
Real estate, something that had merely been a hobby in the past, presented itself to him as an alternative to teaching. His parents had been closely involved in the real estate world, and it was a better choice for his family too.
Loewen-Schmidt has things that he will miss about teaching at Shepherd, however. The biggest thing he’ll miss, he said, is the feeling of the classroom and the exchange of ideas.
As a professor, Loewen-Schmidt’s biggest goal has been getting students to think for themselves and create a disorienting experience for them. He attempts to mix the heavy, thought provoking stuff with lighthearted fun as well.
“The only true thing I’ve found is that I don’t know,” Loewen-Schmidt said. He wants students to think for themselves and understand that no one really knows what’s going on.
Loewen-Schmidt said his advice to students was this: “Think and think hard,” he finally said after a moment, “Be courageous in your thinking, and learn the pleasure of self confrontation and self scrutiny.”
As the last few weeks of the fall 2014 semester wind to a close, students may wonder who will replace Dr. Loewen-Schmidt next semester. However, Dr. Ellzey, the chair of the English department, said that there will be no replacement next semester.
The Vice President of Affairs said that the vacancy will be reviewed along with others, with decisions to be made later on for the 2015 semester.
Dr. Ellzey said that the department is sorry to see Dr. Loewen-Schmidt go. “He was a good colleague and the students seemed to like him,” she said.