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Meet Dr. Gene Gloeckner, Spring 2020 Voyage Academic Dean


We are excited to introduce Dr. Gene Gloeckner to the Semester at Sea community as the Spring 2020 Voyage Academic Dean. Born in East Liverpool, Ohio, Gene attended Ohio State University for his B.S., Colorado State University for his M.S., and returned to Ohio State for his PhD. He’s taught at numerous universities around the nation, but settled down at the School of Education at Colorado State University, where he’s been working for the last 33 years.

Gene is happily married with three children and couldn’t be more excited to be part of the Spring 2020 Voyage.

Find out more about Academic Dean Gene Gloeckner below!

What is the Academic Dean responsible for on the voyage?

The Academic Dean has the biggest single responsibility, which is hiring all of the faculty. My team and I went through hundreds of resumes to find the very best people in order to make this the very best voyage. I feel really good about the faculty we’ve hired. I think we have the best faculty ever. Now that the faculty has been hired, however, my job is to deal with any and all academic issues. I teach one educational psychology class on the voyage, but beyond that, when there’s an issue about class attendance or plagiarism or breaking student conduct, those are the things I usually deal with.

What are your first impressions of the voyage?

I can see a great deal of excitement, and I’d like to see that maintained over the course of the voyage. There are ebbs and flows in life, just like there are in the ocean. But I really want to see the energy and enthusiasm being carried throughout the voyage, especially towards the end.

In which ways do you think Semester at Sea’s floating campus is different from a traditional campus?

I think it’s different in every way. Our students are learning to see the world and learning to travel. That’s so special. They’re not just studying about religion; they’re going to be visiting temples and going into churches to experience it firsthand. They’re not going to just be talking about China; they’ll be walking around China. So, everything interconnects here. It’s not just about book knowledge; it’s the real deal. Students get to go see what life in other countries in really like, and I don’t think there’s any other program in the world like that.

What are some of your passions outside of work?

I’m an avid snow skier. I’ve had seasons passes for many years. When I return from the voyage, I’m looking forward to skiing at 13,000 feet in the continental divide in Colorado. I like to run as well, and I also like to do yoga every morning.

What do you hope students leave with when they leave this voyage?

I want them to leave with an excitement to travel, and the desire to experience things first-hand. That’s critical to me. Likewise, I hope they leave with a global perspective and an appreciation for this Earth. I want them to understand that even though the Earth is huge in one sense, it’s also small and connected in another.

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