Jacob Tingle '95 wears many hats at Trinity University. He is a champion of experiential learning, chairs the sport management minor, co-chairs the A.L.E. minor, and is assistant professor of the practice in business administration. We asked him 10 questions to see what else he is up to.
How do you motivate your students?
An effective way for me to motivate students is to get to know them personally. On the first day of class I collect a fact sheet from students and ask for their favorite movies, favorite sports teams, other classes they are taking, and organizations they are involved in on campus. I'm then intentional in conversations to ask them about their sorority or how their economics class is going. I try to attend sporting events to support our athletes and performances to support those in drama or one of the University choirs. By developing what leadership scholars call “referent power,” I've found students work harder and are more intrinsically motivated to succeed. I also set high expectations for my students, but work with them to ensure they have the tools required to succeed.
What are some of your pre-class rituals?
I spend the 30 minutes before class writing a brief outline to ensure I hit the high points from my lecture and/or the planned discussion and always have music playing. I get to the classroom 10 minutes before it starts and have my "song of the day" playing when students walk in. The song is often from an artist who was born on that day, e.g. Billie Holiday on April 7, and usually varies. Some are in the rotation two or three times a semester, depending on my mood. "Luck Be A Lady" and "Tik Tok" are favorites.
How did you get involved in your area of expertise?
I worked in campus recreation and intercollegiate athletics for 14 years and worked full-time while earning my doctorate. My previous professional experiences continue to inform my research.
What is your favorite aspect of teaching? Least favorite?
I LOVE being in the classroom, especially on discussion days; there's no predicting what a student might say, and it keeps me on my toes! I love the challenge of creating an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable offering informed comments. Many of my classes have an experiential component and seeing the students make connections between material in a textbook or scholarly article to professional practice is really exciting. I don't like grading tests.
Who inspires you?
My wife is an inspiration. She's such a hard worker, so funny, smart, and creative. She pushes me to do my job better.
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Saucier (sauté chef)
What sound do you love? The sound you hate?
A full-throated laugh by Aspen Gonzalez ’96 (Trinity’s director of admissions for planning and assessment) is pretty great, but I love the sound of rain on our metal roof. I really dislike the sound of a bone breaking.
What is your favorite word? Your least favorite word?
Tertiary. I LOVE that word. I wore it out when I was a basketball referee. "That foul occurred in my tertiary coverage area."
Ignominy. Mainly because that's what I feel when I try to pronounce it.
If you were reincarnated as some other plant or animal, what would it be and why?
Coming back as an orca would be awesome. Orcas can live in any ocean, are apex predators, and live in matrilineal pods.