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Final Four #topprofsju: Brian Forster, Ph.D.

Connie Lunanuova '16, Features Editor
April 8, 2014
Filed under Features

Brian Forster, Ph.D., has served as the lab coordinator for the GEP natural science laboratory sections for the past two years at Saint Joseph’s University. Though he is currently in his third year of teaching at St. Joe’s, Forster has quickly earned the appreciation and gratitude of many of the estimated 400 students that he has taught. What Forster wanted to relay to his students is that this appreciation is reciprocal. “At the beginning of the semester, I usually hear several students tell me they are not ‘science students’ and are unsure if they will be successful in the lab,” said Forster. “However, throughout the semester, I am moved when I see the same students working in the lab and being ecstatic when their experiment works!”

It is this evidence of effort and dedication in regards to education that contributed to Forster’s decision to teach at St. Joe’s. “I chose to work at SJU because of the importance the university has on teaching. I believed when I accepted the position – and still do today – that SJU is a place where I can continue to learn,” said Forster. The St. Joe’s community is also what drew Forster to pursue a career as a professor here. “I am honored to work with such diverse and exceptional faculty members and great students. The students are why teachers choose their profession!”

Forster has developed a mindset that he wishes to impart on his students: “When you stop learning, you stop growing.” By embodying that mindset, Forster has been able to enjoy his work in academia and specifically as a St. Joe’s professor.

When asked why he felt he should advance within the Top Prof tournament, Forster replied, “The jokes I tell during class…okay, maybe not. Let me first say, I am honored that I was considered. I hope that I move forward and earn the title because of the way I approach this profession. When I teach, I try to make concepts understandable and relatable to everyday life and show that I am excited about them, too! I try to think back to when I was a student sitting in science class.  What did I want my teacher to tell me?  What did I want my teacher to show me?  What did I want my teacher to have me figure out on my own?”

Forster’s accessibility makes him a professor that is easy to approach and eager to help students understand a subject that they may have initially doubted their ability to do well in. It is for this reason, as well as his jokes, that he is a great candidate for the Top Prof at St. Joe’s.

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