This edition of Who Makes Millersville Special features Dr. Gregory Paul, assistant professor of communication & theatre.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I grew up in Houston, Texas, where everything’s bigger…and warmer.
Q: Where did you attend college? What was your major?
A: I graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in speech communication.
Q: How long have you been teaching at Millersville University?
A: I’m in my second year here.
Q: What classes do you teach at Millersville?
A: I mainly teach Research Methods and Speech, but I’ve also taught Negotiation, Persuasion and Organizational Communication.
Q: What is your favorite class to teach?
A: I think it’s a tie between Negotiation and Research Methods, but Organizational Communication is up there as well.
Q: What do you like about teaching at Millersville?
A: I love the interaction inside and outside the classroom and the fact that I get to learn, as well. It’s fun to hear questions and comments that dig deeper into the material and apply it. I also have very supportive colleagues who help whenever it’s needed.
Q: You are the main Communication Research Methods professor. Why are you so passionate about research?
A: I love learning about people, and research is one way to do that. People are so interesting! And, I love when students catch that fascination, as well. You can use research in so many ways. Harnessing research to better communities and relationships is incredibly rewarding. The prospect of building collaborative communities drives my interests in topics such as forgiveness, revenge, conflict management and restorative justice.
Q: How do you keep your students motivated?
A: By staying focused on the end result, by taking breaks every once in a while, by pushing for better and not just “good enough,” by being interested in the material, by showing that I care about and respect them and by trying to be as interactive as possible in the classroom. Lectures are boring!
Q: What is the most gratifying part of teaching?
A: I love when students realize how much more they know and understand about a topic. I love when they grapple with challenging material and rise up to meet those challenges. I love when they become excited about the topic they’re researching. That’s very gratifying.
Q: You were a mediator at Texas A&M University. Can you talk a little bit about what you learned and what you did there?
A: I went through a 40-hour training seminar at A&M that involved mock mediations and classroom sessions on workplace conflict. I learned quite a bit about the various challenges of workplace conflict as well as the crucial role of communication in (re)constructing workplace relationships and (re)framing conflicts. That training set the stage for my work with LAVORP (Lancaster Area Victim Offender Reconciliation Program) and my research on dialogue.
Q: You are the proud father of a baby girl. What are you most excited about being a new father?
A: I’m excited to watch Emily grow and learn and discover life. She’s so captivating! I love seeing her smiling face when I wake up and come home. It’s such a wonderful part of my day.
Q: What has been the most challenging thing about being a parent?
A: Working on little sleep and trying to figure out parenthood without a manual. But we’ve had great support not only from family and friends, but also from my colleagues.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do outside of class?
A: To hang out with my family, to read (especially nonfiction) and to cook (especially barbeque).
Q: What is your greatest accomplishment?
A: Finishing my dissertation with my advisor at another institution.
Q: Finish this sentence. “My life would not be complete without…”
A: Libby (truly my better half) and Emily…and coffee.