Piano Banner Frederik Meijer Honors College

Craig Benjamin, Ph.D.

Department:
History

Educational Background:
Ph.D. in Ancient History, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia; B.A. in Ancient History, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia; B.A. in History and Education, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

What do you like most about teaching at Grand Valley?
First, the quality of the students. They work hard and know the value of that hard work. Then, the facilities. I was struck by the beauty of the campus, the quality of the technology, and the quality of my colleagues. Finally, the liberal education focus.

What is your favorite class to teach?
History 101 - Introduction to World Civilizations. I literally get to meet students on the day of their first class in college. I teach a lot of classes for first-year students. I get the feeling that's where I'm most effective teaching.

What do students like best about your class?
My very first day here, one student said, "Professor, we don't care what you say, we just want to hear your Australian accent." They also like that my classes are well organized and clearly structured.

How do you contribute to the success of your students?
I'm strong on encouraging them to explore the world and helping them unlock this great potential that they may not have known was there. It's a profoundly satisfying job.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Don't be a student who fades into the background, who sits in a corner with your eyes down. Engage with your professors. Time management is absolutely crucial here too.

What is the most rewarding aspect about teaching at Grand Valley?
The school's core mission of providing a liberal education is still what's most rewarding to me.

Glenn A. Niemeyer Learning and Living Center • Allendale MI 49401
Phone 616-331-3219 • honors@gvsu.edu