Previous Advocates

Dr. J. Patrick Wilber

Pat Wilber

Department: Mathematics

Years Teaching: 21


Excerpts from the student's nomination about Dr. Wilber:

"Dr. Wilber does an outstanding job of accommodating students with disabilities, while maintaining a challenging and positive learning environment for everyone."

"Dr. Wilber maintains a very positive classroom environment. The pace of his lectures is quick, but he always stops for questions and has never acted as if a question was silly or a waste of time."


Getting to know Dr. Wilber:

1. What do you enjoy most about your current role at The University of Akron? The blend of teaching and research. I certainly would not be as happy doing just one, without the other.

2. Why did you choose this career? A lot of small decisions, many probably not well thought out, determined the career path I followed. So it may not be accurate to say I chose this career. However, looking back, here is why I would choose this career. First and foremost, intellectual content---I get to spend a fair amount of time thinking about interesting problems in science. Second, the pleasure of solving a problem. Thinking about a hard problem for a long time, discovering what is essential, eventually solving it. This is great fun. Lastly, as a teacher I get to help people improve themselves, which is rewarding.

3. What would you say to a student that is interested in your career path? To be honest, academia can be a tough path to follow at times. I would recommend a student to pursue an academic career in my field only if he or she has a true love of science and mathematics.

4. What is one thing you do to ensure that your course is accessible to all students? I tend to forget things that I haven’t used for a while. So I appreciate that the same can happen to my students. When I’m using material students should have learned in an earlier course, or even something we covered earlier in the semester, I take a few minutes to review the key points.

5. How do you provide a supportive, positive learning environment? One key element is to show respect for my students.

6. What is your greatest accomplishment? I have nothing too original to say here. A happy marriage. Maybe not doing such a bad job so far raising my kids.

7. What are some of your favorite hobbies? My son and I camp and hike a lot.