Faculty Stories: Tim Clifford

Tim Clifford

Tim Clifford
Department: Humanities

Tim Clifford admits to being a little selfish when it comes to teaching.

"It allows me to be a perpetual student. I am constantly learning new things to share with my students, while also learning new things from my students," he said. "On top of that, there is really no greater satisfaction than seeing a student come to understand or appreciate an idea, topic or piece for the first time or in a new way."

Clifford's childhood allowed him to explore different topics that gave him an opportunity to constantly learn about new things.

"I grew up in a household with an eclectic collection of music albums -- everything from the 'classical' greats like Bach and Beethoven to the jazz standards of Dave Brubeck and Ramsey Lewis," he said. "I was also fascinated by the incredible early American history of New York, a state I grew up in. Lastly, I was influenced by my aunt and uncle who were language teachers and had a home full of books, artwork and trinkets from Europe."

Clifford earned his Bachelor of Arts from North Central College and his Masters of Music from Northern Illinois University. His work experience includes teaching music to both children and adults before coming to College of DuPage.

He finds inspiration everywhere, and he wants his students to feel the same way.

"Sometimes my inspiration comes from my brilliant colleagues here at the College, and sometimes my inspiration is given to me by my Dean and Associate Dean," he said. "Often I get a lot of inspiration from the great aesthetic works produced over the course of human history. I know of no better way to reinvigorate my awe for human achievement than to listen to a fugue by J.S. Bach or to look at a painting by René Magritte. 

"I hope my students gain a renewed or deepened curiosity about the world around them. I am doing a disservice to my students if I can't spark their 'intellectual imagination,' as Bertrand Russell put it."

More about the Humanities program