Assistant Professor of Education
Ben Woods 06
Alicia Moore, assistant professor of education, was born and raised in Austin, Texas. The only child of Theodore and Lucille Moore, she always knew she wanted to be a teacher. I would line my dolls and stuffed animals up in rows, take roll and teach class, Moore recalls. Her inspiration for teaching came from her mother and two aunts, all of whom were teachers.
Today, Moore attempts to impart the passion for teaching she inherited from her family to each one of her students. Nothing is more important, next to teaching children, than teaching prospective teachers about the theory and practice that is the foundation for student success and achievement. I try to instill in them an enthusiasm for teaching that will sustain them throughout their careers. Moore believes that teachers should have high expectations for all of their students and strives to create what she calls culturally responsive teachers. Toward this end, Moore teaches students how to understand the cultural characteristics, experiences and perspectives of ethnically diverse students.
Before joining the Southwestern faculty in 2001, Moore served as principal of an elementary school in Austin. The transition from principal to professor was natural, she says. I was merely moving from the realm of praxis into the sphere of teaching theory and its convergence into effective practice.
Moores primary focus is on the experiences of African-American college students in predominantly white institutions. She has collaborated with students on this research and various other topics. My motivation emanates from several sources that are important to me, Moore says. These include her faith and her inner motivation to assist others. She adds,
I am driven by the motivation to reach optimum success spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally.
In 2001, after her first semester at Southwestern, Moore said, Im concentrating on crafting my teaching and becoming the best professor I can be. Now, more than three years later, she continues her mission. I believe that great educators do not measure their success by the number of years they have taught, but by the number of lives they have touched. Becoming the best professor I can be will be a lifelong goal and an ongoing mission.
Assistant Professor of Physics; Paideia® Professor
Amanda Lott 07
Mark Bottorff, assistant professor of physics, has been surrounded by the sciences since he was a young child. His father worked as a machinist for Martin Marietta, now Lockheed Martin, where he manufactured some of the parts for the first robotic probes to land on Mars. His mother, Mary Lou, is a docent at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Both encouraged an interest in space and science by giving him his first telescope. When I was 14, I noticed a bright yellow star in the sky. I pointed the telescope at the star and discovered it was not a star but the planet Jupiter and its four largest moons, Bottorff says. I have been hooked on astronomy ever since.
Soon after, he began assisting with viewing nights at the Chamberlin Observatory in Denver and delivering public astronomy lectures. This proved invaluable for Bottorffs first college teaching experience. One of the instructors in the mathematics department of a local college had a heart attack in the middle of the semester and they had no one else available to replace him except me, he explains. I quickly discovered that I enjoyed being in the classroom as a teacher.
Bottorff joined the physics department in 2002 and uses Southwesterns Fountainwood Observatory in his teaching as much as possible. I hope to change the Exploring the Universe course from a lecture course with a lab to a purely observation-driven course where the sky above becomes the true teacher, he says. Bottorff also is in charge of all public viewing nights. The public has a natural interest in astronomy, and it is a joy for me to share my personal interest with so many others. Since the observatory opened in 1997, we have had almost 6,000 visitors, he says.
The Williamson County Astronomy Club, of which he is a member, assists with public viewing nights.
Bottorff also is a Paideia® Professor, and says he really appreciates the seminars and discussions that go along with the program. Listening to students speak in seminar, I have been struck by the variety of viewpoints and ideas Southwestern students have. It is very refreshing, and it gives me hope for the future.
When he is not teaching or looking at the stars, Bottorff enjoys watching movies. He lives in Georgetown with his wife, Debra.