Ask A Professor

Ask A Professor

Joe Faykosh, Professor of History

Dr. Joe Faykosh is a professor of History at CAC.  His office is at Superstition Mountain Campus.

“What annoys you the most in class?” -Christine Barrow  

It would have to be a tie between students thinking I don’t know when they’re texting or doing something on the phone that they shouldn’t do (we can see more than you think), and having to repeat myself when I’ve made directions or due dates clear.  

“What led you to pursue a PhD in history?” -Gabriel Ramirez 

I just always loved history and could not see myself pursuing anything else. At Ohio State, we had to take a lot of classes outside our field, so I felt very well-rounded and just kept finding myself coming back to history courses. I thought I would work in a museum, but the first few times I had an opportunity to TA (teaching assistant), I just loved it. I love to talk and I love to share my passion: there is nothing better than seeing students light up or get excited about some area of history. I feel so incredibly blessed to have this job and get to do this…I have to pinch myself sometimes! College is a great time to figure out what you like and what you can handle.  

“Do you ever have to re-teach yourself before class?” -Alexas Gage 

YES! Not usually with my US History courses (I can, and probably have, teach those in my sleep!), but with others (this semester, I have five different courses), I will look over my lectures to make sure I remember what I wanted to get across and look up material if I’m forgetting things. I have a very good memory (not bragging…I have done nothing to earn this!) so the images on the slides are as much for triggering my lectures as they are for students!  

“Do professors get stressed when grading assignments?” -Tyler Danley/ “How do you deal with burnout?” -Alonso Gomez  

Teachers and professors are just like students: we get very overwhelmed and we are also juggling a lot. I try to keep that perspective. I have creative outlets for myself (my podcast—see below!) and listening to podcasts/music or exercising, but also letting myself have periods where I am not working and not checking my email/grading/etc. One of the best pieces of advice a professor gave me in grad school was to set limits for yourself. It is important to have goals, but it’s also important to know what your limits are. I know that I can’t truly relax until I grade and get feedback back to students, so I try to tackle assignments as soon as possible, so that stress doesn’t build for me.  

“What pushed you to start your podcast and are you enjoying making it?” -Samantha Barrow 

I love traveling, and as a history nerd, I love historical sites. I made a point of traveling to presidential sites in 2015 and planning trips around them, and I recognized that it was something unique but that I’m very passionate and excited about. During the lockdown, I got the idea to start putting together a podcast called “Visiting the Presidents” (shameless plug!). It is part history and understanding the Presidents but also about traveling to these sites and how they are preserved. I have been overwhelmed by the interest and support, and it makes me excited to keep continuing. Season 1 has been about presidential birthplaces, and Season 2 will be about their homes.