STC Graduate Goes Back to School as a Professor
February 19, 2018 – Robert Morrison was always interested in teaching, but didn't have the experience or certifications to make that a reality. After originally being turned down at Southeastern Technical College (STC) for his lack of credentials, he enrolled in the Electronics Technology Program, under the tutelage of William “Chip” Greene, aced his way through the program, and eventually landed a job as an adjunct professor at Ogeechee Technical College (OTC).
Morrison began his electrical career when he was in the Navy in the late 1980s and was working as a supervisor at ProLectric Electrical Contractors out of Savannah when he decided to enroll at STC. He was initially planning on going into the Electrical Contraction Technology, but was steered by the head instructor of that program, Randy Robinson, to Greene and his classes.
"Randy was concerned that with my experience I wouldn’t be challenged enough and become bored. After meeting with Chip and looking over his program, it looked like a good fit. I was fortunate that Randy and Chip were looking at me the student and not just a filled seat in the classroom," Morrison said.
According to Greene, Morrison was one of the most capable students he has ever taught because of his experience and his desire to learn.
"He was easy to teach because he was eager to learn," Greene said. "His work was always accurate and on time. He was always a pleasure to be around."
Morrison said that Greene was pivotal in his education. His style of teaching worked for Morrison, and it showed in his performance. After 62 hours of courses, Morrison graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Greene noted that nothing was too big of a challenge to Morrison, despite his relative inexperience with electronics. Greene said when anything challenged Morrison, which was rare, he would step up and work at it over and over until he figured it out. By diversifying his skillset, Morrison said he stood out from other applicants in the workplace.
"My education at STC gave me a skill set that many electricians do not have. Many times, we get locked into a certain type of electrical work, and STC gave me skills that made me a more complete electrician," Morrison said.
Morrison also said that Robinson and English instructor Charlotte Matthews were also instrumental in helping him succeed at STC by working with his packed schedule and going above and beyond to make sure he had the tools he needed to excel in the classroom.
While he was enrolled at STC, Morrison was working as an independent electrical contractor at Fort Stewart. Upon graduating, he applied for a staff position at the Winn Army Community Hospital and was hired on as a maintenance electrician.
However, he was then noticed by Norman Threatt, the Electrical Systems Technology instructor at OTC, and a former employer for Morrison. He was offered a position there as an adjunct professor and is now in his first semester as an instructor. According to Morrison, he plans to stay in teaching for a long time for a couple of reasons.
"First, climbing ladders and running conduit is for a young man. I know I can't do it forever. Second, I believe hands-on experience that a technical college offers through its instructors give the student insight beyond what's in the book. This is what gives a technical college student an advantage in the job market," Morrison said.
For more information on Southeastern Technical College, visit www.southeasterntech.edu or call 912-538-3100 or 478-289-2200.
Photo: Robert Morrison, far right, gives instructions to students.