Get to know your professors at WBU
Here at Williams Baptist University, we consider ourselves more of a family than simply a University. We pride ourselves in our ability to form close relationships between students and professors through Christ-centered education. This blog is created to help alleviate some of the stress incoming freshmen may be feeling when transitioning to college classes. After getting to know your professors at Williams, not only will the task of tackling college coursework become less daunting, it will be easier to form a close relationship with your professors in order to gain the best college experience possible. (Going to them for help when you need it won’t be nearly as intimidating!)
Professor: Janna Himschoot
B.A – Arkansas State University
M.B.A. – Missouri State University
Classes Taught: Principles of Accounting I and II, Intermediate Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Tax Accounting, Organizational Behavior and Management, Business Statistics, Consumer Finance, Principles of Marketing, Business Communication, Consumer Behavior, Integrated Marketing Communication
Professor Himschoot is working on her sixth year at WBU. Known for her kind and caring demeanor, she has served as a great role model for business majors and is often the person to go to when you need advice.
An interview with the professor herself!
What made you want to become a professor at WBU?
I worked in business, specifically accounting, for 20 years before feeling the call to teach. There were so many things that I wanted my students to know before they entered the workforce that I didn’t know when I entered. Teaching at Williams was a true calling for me, one that God had been preparing me for many years. The opportunity to pour into students and share my faith and personal business experience and knowledge have been a privilege and the most rewarding work I have ever done.
What has changed the most since you started working here?
The biggest change since starting at Williams has been the external environment. Preparing students to leave Williams and be prepared on every level, academically, professionally, morally, and spiritually, has become increasingly challenging as the world around us seems to become more chaotic.
What is your teaching philosophy and class management style?
My teaching philosophy has always been one of relevance. Students want to know that the skills they are learning in the classroom will actually be relevant and valuable to them when they leave. I share many personal stories and experiences, and students seem to respond to that. My class management style is somewhat unorthodox. I want students to interact, and I require students to share in class. We will do classroom exercises such as debates, role plays, and mini-research projects to increase engagement. I try to make it fun so that my students will want to come to class.
What are the benefits to teaching smaller classes?
Teaching small classes has been a precious gift that I didn’t anticipate. It allows me the opportunity to discover what really interests the students so that we can drill down on those topics in a way that is not possible in larger groups. It also leads to getting to know the students on many different levels. I can then discover which teaching methods work better for them and apply more of those specific methods in the classroom.
What is your favorite thing about teaching?
Without a doubt, my favorite thing about teaching is forming and building relationships. This is also something I didn’t anticipate. I care deeply about my students and am personally invested in their success when they leave here, not just professional success, but personal and spiritual as well. I have students that I communicate with regularly from my first year of teaching to now. It makes the hard days worth it.
What made you want to pursue the profession?
As I developed my own personal professional career in business, I felt called to share life lessons that I learned with students preparing to enter the workforce. I come from a long line of educators, and my father was working in higher education. I was encouraged by his experience and felt that God was leading me in that direction. God opened all the doors, and I know I am right where He wants me to be.
How do you incorporate your Christian worldview into your lesson?
I have many assignments that have a biblical foundation, and my Consumer Finance class presents personal finance from a completely biblical approach. I am privileged to share aspects of my personal testimony in class as the situation warrants it. The sweetest moments happen when I am able to pray with students who are struggling. It is a privilege to have the freedom to express my beliefs on this level in the classroom.
Have you taught anywhere before coming to WBU? If so, how did that experience help you in your teaching here?
WBU is my first teaching position in higher education. I served briefly as a professional tutor, which gave me valuable insight into the way students learn and study. I was able to apply this knowledge in how I present information in the classroom.
What advice can you give incoming freshmen?
Incoming freshmen should be prepared to manage their time wisely. In our department, we strongly recommend and sometimes require a student planner. These students haven’t had this much control over their time in their entire lives. They must learn to manage this freedom quickly in order to be successful academically.
What activities or hobbies do you do outside of work?
I am very active in my church, serving in music ministry and various teaching opportunities. My husband and I own a cattle farm, and that is a very big part of our lives as well.
If you had to pick another profession, what would it be?
I guess you could say that teaching is my other profession. It took me 20 years to get to this point, and I can see myself retiring from this career.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
Without a doubt, my favorite thing about my job is the relationships I am able to develop with my students. My own children are the same ages as many of my students. It gives me a unique perspective, and I have come to be known by many students in the business department as their “campus mom.” This is a title I am proud to carry.
What can students expect from you during class?
I want them to talk, interact, enjoy, and be comfortable in class; however, I also expect them to be on time, pay attention, and complete assignments. Attending WBU is a privilege, and I expect them to take full advantage of it. If I find students become disengaged or bored, I might tell a crazy story or ask them a random question just to keep them on their toes.