interview by lanyuehua


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Kristin Fiehler

Robert Arnold

Honors Freshman Seminar

September 6, 2011

                    An Interview With Professor Robert Arnold

       Professor Robert Arnold has taken the long road to arriving at his home here

at UNC Charlotte. Born in Washington D.C. in 1972, Arnold only stayed in the capital

until he was four years old. However, he got to see the world growing up, travelling

with his family to other countries from Canada to Africa. These experiences are

what more than likely gave him the well rounded nature required of a professor in

the University Honors Program.

       Arnold’s family itself helped provide him with many personality-developing

opportunities. When asked, the first word he used to describe his relatives was

“sarcastic.” He described how they would typically take part in “verbal jousting”

matches, simultaneously bonding the family and helping to develop Arnold’s sharp

thinking. He also made it important to note that these matches always took place at

the dinner table, as his family always shared at least one meal a day with one

another. These daily meals are typically known to help develop a child’s moral while

growing up, giving them a sense of togetherness and support. This is completely

exemplified in Professor Arnold now as an adult.

       As he grew up, Professor Arnold was not an academic young man. He

attended a total of three colleges in his career: Messiah College, CPCC, a community

college in Charlotte, and UNC Charlotte. Upon first glance, you would never know
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that Arnold’s original goals in life were not to be a teacher. His intended major was

English when he became a teacher’s assistant while in graduate school. It was here

that he “fell in to teaching,” and decided to become a full time faculty member for

UNC Charlotte in 2002.

       Arnold joined the University Honors Program after meeting Connie Rothwell.

She had asked him to teach a course for the program, and he decided to stay. His

love for Honors students due to their ability to keep up with assignments and their

overall more engaging attitudes towards learning keeps Professor Arnold around.

He also enjoys the work outside of the classroom. The volunteer and trip

opportunities provided by the program allows Arnold to have a better connection

with his students. He likes being able to get to know them better, and see them as

more than just students but also for the adults they are becoming. These

characteristics are what help make Professor Arnold a well rounded educator for

UNC Charlotte.

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