NEWBERRY — For Dr. Jesse Scott, it’s about getting students to think for themselves.
“My greatest accomplishment is having a student gain the confidence to use his or her own brain,” Scott said. “Instead of my students asking others what to think, I want them to have their own ideas and have the confidence to dare to know.”
Scott, who serves as Professor of History, began teaching at Newberry on a part-time basis in 1985 and became a full-time faculty member the following year. Since then, Scott has not only taught courses on a wide range of historical topics, but has gained the admiration and respect of colleagues and countless students.
Scott’s course topics range across the field of history, but he is especially known for his course about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Although Scott enjoys teaching on many issues, he finds the Holocaust an especially important and interesting topic.
Scott said helping people learn about the “human story” and provoking them to think for themselves is one of his favorite things about teaching. He said he shares Richard W. Paul’s belief that education is “a process of deciding for ourselves what to believe and to do.”
Students find Scott’s courses, and his teaching style, memorable.
“I loved Dr. Scott’s enthusiasm and the way he kept my attention in class,” says junior Shawn Landgraff. “There are a few teachers I will always remember, and he’s one of them. Plus, I liked the bow ties.”
Appreciation for Scott extends to his colleagues. Associate Professor of Theatre Matthew Fuller calls Scott an intelligent, focused educator with a strong passion for his subject.
“It is obvious he impacts his students by the number that remember him well after they have completed his classes,” Fuller says. “Within the faculty as a whole, it is obvious he cares for Newberry College past, present and future.”
When he’s not teaching, Scott enjoys playing sports like basketball and tennis. He also enjoys reading.
Even with the acclaim he’s earned throughout his teaching career, Scott says he’s just a normal guy with a passion for educating young people.