Faculty Friday: Professor Scott Proudfit

This week I sat down with English and Drama Studies Professor Scott Proudfit (pictured left) who recently was recognized with the Elon College Excellence in Teaching award. We discussed his award, his nine years of experience teaching at Elon, and finally his goals for the future. Professor Proudfit’s students describe him as the “Best person on the planet,” and he says that he feels “flattered” to be recognized by both the University and his students.

Professor Proudfit is passionate about creating courses that reflect life experiences. He has designed and taught many classes at Elon like “The Graphic Novel” and “The AIDS play.”

“I am very privileged to be able to design classes and majors that I am truly passionate about because I know not everyone gets that opportunity.”

I asked him about his impression of Elon students over the years.

“Elon students are normally pretty stressed, but they are also looking for big answers to big questions about things like gender, sexuality, and race and my classes are the places for them to really discuss these difficult topics with other people.”

Professor Proudfit describes his biggest teaching challenge as making his students comfortable without the protection of electronics. In his classes, there are no phones and no computers; just a group of people discussing important topics and big ideas. An uncommon way of teaching, but it seems to be working for Professor Proudfit.

“It can be awkward at first, but after awhile we all get comfortable with each other and it’s important to be able to look people in the eye and talk to them without having to hide behind a device.”

Professor Proudfit’s resume is pretty impressive. He attended Columbia University for his undergrad; he’s worked at Marvel Comics, Disney, and various newspapers reviewing theater.

Professor Proudfit moved to Greensboro nine years ago to develop the drama and theater studies program here at Elon. Over his time here, he says that he still puts the same amount of preparation into his classes as he did when he first started, but now he feels less stressed about his job.

“I’ve learned to manage my time better, just like we are always telling students to do,” Professor Proudfit laughs.

Professor Proudfit believes his enthusiasm and compassion for Elon students is the reason so many respond to him so positively.

“I try to remind my students that we have a limited time together and to value this time because this is their opportunity to learn in a safe space.”

Professor Proudfit says his goals for the future are to continue improving the drama studies department and to keep building relationships with Elon students. He credits his current fellow English professors and his former Columbia professors for giving him the tools to be the recipient of the Faculty Excellence Award here at Elon.




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