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Faculty Highlights

Sean Wilkinson

September 2017

Photo of Sean Wilkinson

This month we are highlighting Sean Wilkinson, one of our GEW instructors here at CSUSM. Interview by Carrie Morrow. 

CM: Let’s jump right in.  Why did you get involved in teaching?

SW: One word: money.  Just kidding.  Actually, I come from a background of educators.  My mom was a teacher, and she worked in education my entire childhood, and so I’ve always grown up respecting educators.  When I did my BA program at Santa Cruz, and I was studying literature, I think my favorite part about life up there was just working one-on-one with the professors.  I always wanted to emulate them, and I also thought that by getting involved, I could bring in a fresh perspective.

CM:  I like that!  So, like me, I know you use a theme in your GEW class.  Your theme is “Humor.”  Why did you choose it?

SW: Humor is an all-inclusive theme.  It doesn’t matter your culture, your upbringing, your background, your wealth – humor is something that involves everyone.  It is also an interdisciplinary topic; it doesn’t matter what field you are going into, whether it is nursing or business, humor is being studied there.  It’s grounded.

CM: That’s so true.  Let’s move away from the work-related questions, now.  What do you do when you're not teaching?

SW: I think my primary hobby is that I go to a lot of concerts.  Before I started working full-time, and before I had my kid (who is one), I averaged about 85 concerts a year.

CM:  Wow!

SW: Yeah – once a week, if not more, just to check out new talent – that’s why my hearing is so bad!  Cautionary tale: wear ear plugs.  Believe me.

CM: Oh, dear.

SW: I don’t go as much as I used to.  I also go to Disneyland, probably more often than I should.  I also dabble.

CM:  I don’t know dabbling.

SW:  You wouldn’t.  I also play a lot of board games.

CM: What’s your favorite board game?

SW: Hmm.  Sushi-Go.

CM: Huh?

SW: It's about sushi. And Camel Up

CM: Huh?

SW: It's a camel-racing game.

CM: If you say so.  Okay, back to the interview.  What is your biggest advice for students?

SW: Don't text [as Professor Wilkinson texts on his phone].  Okay, seriously - recognize that learning is not just about the grade.  It's about building community, expressing ideas, and conversation.  The grade is just a grade.  It does not inherently represent how educated you are.  Commit to being engaged, and go past the bear minimum.

CM: Solid answer.  Back to fun questions: you are stranded on a deserted island.  What are three things you would want with you (besides family).

SW: A boat, a life jacket, and shark repellent.

CM: So practical.  I would have said a book or something.  Speaking of books, any recommendations for reading?

SW: Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ‘72 by Hunter S. Thompson.  It’s very relevant. And The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers.

CM: What was your last Netflix binge?

SW: Parks and Recreation.

CM: Well done, you. 

SW: Ron Swanson is my spirit animal.  

CM: I see it. The best. 

Previous Faculty Highlights:

April 2017: Colleen Stricker (In Memoriam)

March 2017: Cyndi Headley

Dec. 2016: Raymond Morris

Nov. 2016: Walter Dutton

Sept. 2016: Mea Hall

March 2016:Carrie Morrow

Feb. 2016: Janette Larson

Dec. 2015: Charlotte Strauwald