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Teachable Moments with Robert Alexander, Ph.D.

Alexander

 

The Point

Winter 2013

Robert Alexander, Ph.D., who has been an English professor at Point Park for 40 years, knew since he was 15 he wanted to pursue academics and finds it hard to believe the time has gone by “in the blink of an eye.”

His goal has always been to “get students to participate in what they are learning.” He says he has always been interested in students learning to write and improve their writing skills.

He says Point Park students are eager to learn and want to get their degrees. He talks of former students, though he doesn’t like to single anyone out. He enjoys the students’ arty quality, how others are serious and down to earth, or athletes who are “lively.”

“I enjoyed working with students and seeing their reaction to literature,” says Alexander, who recalls students taking notes and presenting him with elaborate doodles from their notebooks at year’s end as a gift.

“My biggest hope is that they get paid to do something they want to do. I’ve enjoyed my time at Point Park and the support I’ve received from everyone. Everyone tries to get along and help each other.”

Alexander talks of when he first came to Point Park, how it was in financial trouble, but says its turnaround is “impressive.”

Alexander, who has a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is interested in medieval literature, and has a common interest with his wife, Sally, who teaches at Chatham University. They sometimes read poetry on a Saturday morning over coffee.

Text by Melissa Williams Schofield

Photo by Martha Rial

The Point is a magazine for alumni and friends of Point Park University