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From the office to the classroom, SHSU President transforming lives

Posted at 7:14 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 00:16:58-04

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — There's a transformation taking place in the field of education at Sam Houston State University. President, Dr. Alisa White, is now stepping outside the office, and into the classroom. She explains how this brief career transformation is transforming lives for years to come.

“I love teaching,” said Dr. White, President of Sam Houston State University. “I love it just as much today as I ever have. I enjoyed interacting with our students and I also liked my discipline.”

Through teaching, Dr. White is also looking forward to how to best impact students before the graduate.

Now she's teaching an advertising and public relations class, and even a leadership class.

“Sam Houston is very unique and that we’re number one in Texas for social mobility,” said Dr. White. “Every time I come to campus, it could help a student individually or collectively with my colleagues and that student gets a degree, I know we’re doing good work.”

With the collective work of Dr. White and her colleagues, senior Ethan Crisp is grateful for the knowledge he gained in her class.

“She brought in so many guest speakers for us to absorb their knowledge that went beyond what she even knew which was awesome,” said Ethan Crisp, senior at Sam Houston State University. “She really laid it all out there for us to absorb and really prepare for our career, not only creatively but just for our jobs in the future.”

Not only is Dr. White impacting students, she says they are impacting her just as much.

“This class did so much for me personally and professionally,” said Dr. White. “I would do it again and again and again, maybe a little differently, but my goals were met. They did very good work and my impression of Sam Houston students has just been elevated and I knew they were good.”

Ethan says Dr. White was by far his best professor while at Sam Houston.

“Honestly, she was one of the best professors I’ve had just period and I’m not even saying that because I know she’s going to see this,” said Crisp. “She was a really fun professor to have.”

Dr. White says being in the classroom allows her to leave her mark on students and she looks forward to the opportunity of teaching again.

“I started teaching students at the university level more than 30 years ago,” said Dr. White. “It’s why I got into Higher Education. It’s why I stay in Higher Education. I believed correctly that teaching students at Sam Houston State would give me insight into who are students are and what they face every day.”

Dr. White was hopeful this opportunity would help her get to know students better, and so far, she says it has.

Ethan says this class was by far unique and unlike any other.

“She was just so generous with her wisdom and her experiences,” said Crisp. “I think that’s the really unique thing is that most professors have that experience as well but she’s done it for so long at the highest level of leadership that it’s unlike anything than I had ever experienced.”

Ethan says Dr. White’s teaching is helping him remember his course work.

“I think that helped a lot with just learning the material because it mattered,” said Crisp. “It was like a different feel. The things she’s teaching us we could directly apply and the guest speakers she’s bringing in had the experience so we could just grab all this knowledge in one class.”

Dr. White says this is a great way for her to remember the mission of the university, “The measure of a life is its service.”