New Faculty in Residence: an alum who understands the RIT life"It's extremely important that we break the boundaries that have been created not only between faculty and students, but between students and students."
I'm responsible for teaching my students much more than just subject material. I take an active role inside and outside of the classroom -- to teach enthusiasm, attitude, perseverance, communication and leadership. My hope is for students to become active participants in their communities, and I'm proud to be able to say that I can help shape their lives."
Hamad Ghazle, director of RIT's ultrasound program in the College of Science, says that's only one reason he applied for and accepted the Faculty in Residence for the 199899 academic year. Ghazle assumes the role from National Technical Institute for the Deaf English professor Peter Haggerty who completed his term last spring.
"It's extremely important that we break the boundaries that have been created not only between faculty and students, but between students and students," says Ghazle. "Issues surrounding race, color and religion can be alleviated with communication and understanding. If we listen to one another we might learn a thing or two."
The Faculty in Residence program helps bridge the gap between students and their instructors by housing a teacher in the residence halls for an academic year. Ghazle, who resides in room 1080 of Sol Heumann Hall, sees great value in the program.
"All students have ups and downs," he says. "Some students work very hard, but still have a difficult time finding their way. As faculty members, we need to learn how to listen for cries of help and give them the tools they need to survive. Many students just need someone to talk to and if I can be that person, I feel that I've not only done my job as FIR, but as a human being."
No stranger to RIT dorm life, Ghazle completed his undergraduate degree here and believes he's better able to understand student needs because of his personal experience.
"I remember what it was like to be a student in this brick city. A lot has changed, but some things never will. Some students need someone to vent their frustrations to, eat dinner with or merely exchange a friendly smile. So far, the students have been really great. I'm just incredibly excited to be a part of their atmosphere."
An open door policy makes it even easier to reach Ghazle, who realizes that FIR isn't a 9 to 5 job.
"I've always had an open door policy," he says. "The students who study with me in the ultrasound program know that they can call me at any hour of the day or night; I have a 24-hour hotline. I'm carrying that policy with me into the residence halls. It's important that the students know I'm there for them when they need me."
Ghazle is in the process of planning activities geared towards getting to know the students better, like Monday night football parties, midnight breakfasts, card games, cooking demonstrations and community and campus volunteer events. He hopes to increase faculty participation at these events.
"It's just amazing how much I've learned from our students in the short time I've been a faculty member at RIT. Our students are very intelligent and have so much to share with us. I hope more faculty members will take the time to walk over to this side of campus and find out for themselves."
Ghazle adds, "We want our students to have the best times of their lives at RIT. We want them to return to campus like I did, as a faculty or staff member, or as a donor or volunteer. I'll do anything possible to make sure that happens."
The RIT community can reach Ghazle at -3023 (v/TTY) and HHGSCL@rit.edu.