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32 Years of Teaching at UD: An Adjunct Reflects

He’s been teaching courses at area colleges since 1979 and at UD since 1988, but his passion for teaching students and for new technology is timeless.  Robert (Bob) Neben, an adjunct faculty member in Management Information Systems, Operations Management, and Decision Sciences, is a retired Air Force Reserve Colonel and private pilot who continues to enjoy sharing his experiences with students.

The Chicago native began his Air Force career in the 1960s, and when he moved to Dayton, he learned that his supervisor was teaching courses at Sinclair Community College.  Sinclair needed more faculty, and Neben started teaching there and enjoyed working with the varied age groups. He hasn’t stopped teaching since.

“Today’s student is a smarter, more serious version of myself,” Heben said. He points to the increase in enrollment of women and international students as a major change he has observed over the course of 40+ years as an educator.  He has taught in five Study Abroad experiences, in which he had much enjoyable interaction with students, and his most recent, in 2015, included time in London, Dublin, and Rome.

As a business faculty member in the 1990s, Neben had the opportunity to teach Ryan C. Harris, the student for whom the LTC is named, and remembers Ryan as a “very bright student.”  Neben was here when the LTC opened, and his memories include opportunities to explore technology. “Adjuncts tend to love technology, and I’m wowed by tech (in the LTC) -- there is lots of space to write, there is support, and I like the setting including the various creature comforts the LTC offers,” he said.

In reflecting on his teaching career, Neben offers sage advice to newer colleagues. “Adjuncts should work with your department -- it opens itself to adjuncts, and they’re there to help.” He also mentioned that he and fellow adjuncts love to teach and learn.  “When I come to the LTC, especially the adjunct workshops, I always learn all kinds of new things”.

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