Faculty Stories: Joel Quam

Joel Quam

Program: Geography

Joel Quam is fascinated by places. And that fascination is shared with students in his Geography classes.

"Teaching gives me the opportunity to continue to study places that fascinate me," he explained. "Additionally, I find it satisfying to promote geographic interest and understanding in my students, especially at a time when geographic literacy is weak."

Quam taught geography at a college in Sioux Falls, S.D., before coming to College of DuPage. He has since employed innovative ideas into his classes. For example, in one activity -- a combination final exam and party -- Quam invited community members to mingle with his students and ask them questions about geography.

"I hope that my students gain considerable geographic knowledge from my classes, but also I want them to begin to think geographically," he said.

Quam empowers his students to learn, remember, increase awareness and think critically. Above all, he hopes they are as fascinated by the subject as he is.

"I like the way that geography allows me to take a multifaceted view of people and places. Given my interest in area studies, in particular my interest in Russia, this broad approach to understanding places is very useful."

More about the Geography program