He’s firm. He’s fair. He’s flexible. He’s funny. And he challenges you to go to RateMyProfessor.com and see what students say about him.
Dr. William McPherson has taught at IUP for eighteen years. He is a graduate of three different academic institutions and a holder of four degrees: one bachelor’s in marketing and business education from Montclair State University, two master’s—one from Glassboro State College (Rowan University) and one from Montclair—and a doctorate in business from New York University.
The Technology Support and Training professor loves teaching for the opportunity to make an impact. His inspiration to be a teacher came from his high school history and marketing teachers.
“Teachers I had made me want to be a teacher,” he said. “Their impact on me made me want to go into the profession. What makes me who I am is the tremendous interaction with students. The amount of relationships I’ve developed with students is based on a variety of my style, my going the extra for them—that’s an achievement for me.”
Before teaching after college, he was involved with residential life. He began as an RA (residence assistant) and worked up the ladder to be a director of residence life.
“I started as an RA because I love college,” he said. “I think that’s why I’m still here. I absolutely love it. I lived in residence halls probably thirteen years of my adult life.”
Just by looking around Eberly 221G, you can see McPherson’s interests. A strip of beach print lines a portion of his office, a group of teacher Santa Clauses sit on top of a filing cabinet, and, on his bookshelf, multiple teacher-related plaques and gifts adorn a shelf.
When he isn’t teaching, McPherson enjoys traveling. He has a home in New Jersey, his native state, where he goes to recoup and refresh. He has also traveled to different countries due to his work on cultural adaptability, personality type, and learning style.
“I’ve studied various populations,” he said “Europeans, American students versus European students. Just recently, my last sabbatical was Asian students. Hopefully I get one more sabbatical before I leave, which will be looking at Hispanic students and their styles.”
Because of his work, he has had the opportunity to travel to Europe and Asia. He said he is looking forward to studying South America.
At IUP, McPherson is working with Dr. Werner Lippert of the IUP History Department on a business in history cocurricular activity. This is the first semester for the class, and it is offered to undeclared Business students.
The group of Santa Clauses on top of his filing cabinet are teacher Santas. They symbolize two of McPherson’s favorite things, teaching and Christmas.
“Holidays are a great time, and it’s always tied to something with teaching,” he said. “At home, my whole dining room is teacher stuff. The interesting thing is, a lot of them I didn’t buy. The people knew me and knew I loved what I do. The students have given me decorations or made stuff for me. It’s nice.”
When McPherson first came to Indiana, he thought he would stay only two years, but something has kept him at IUP.
“It’s just been a really great experience for me here,” he said. “I’ve been here eighteen years, I never would have thought that when I started. I’ve met students I’ve kept in touch with over the years.”
—By Alycia King