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
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