Certificate in Faculty Preparation Student Spotlight: Nina Faust-Dean, MBA

Nina Faust-Dean

Please tell us about yourself.

I moved to Humboldt County in the late 1990s. After running a small business and raising my son, I decided to go back to school. I started from the bottom many years ago attending school part-time then kicking it into high gear. I achieved an AA in humanities & communication in 2014, a BA in art history in 2016, and an MBA in 2020 (after taking a short break from school to focus on work).

What motivated you to enroll in the Certificate in Faculty Preparation: Teaching in Higher Education program?

Part of the requirements for attaining my BA in art history was an internship. I decided to create my own and teach at a local high school (North Coast Preparatory Academy) for a semester. I thoroughly enjoyed writing lessons, opening up these young adults to history through art, and continuing to learn as I taught. I realized that teaching is a life of learning and sharing.

How has the program positively impacted your personal and/or professional life?

I am meeting new folks and making new connections within the field I am pursuing. I've learned that teaching has come a long way from what it was and it is refreshing. I'm excited to implement what I'm learning.

What are your goals after completing the certificate?

My goal is to use what I've learned through the program in future classrooms with students. Because I am new to the field, I am hoping that this certificate will give me an edge on a relatively competitive job market or help land me in a PhD program.

What were/are the most memorable growth moments for you in the program?

The emphasis on classroom/student inclusivity is so important. There are so many ways that we, as professors, can create a safe and productive learning environment for every student.

What else would you like to share about your experience as a student in the Certificate in Faculty Preparation program?

What I am learning, as a future professor in this program, is important, practical, and inspires a healthy passion for teaching. I would implore those who are already professors or considering becoming a teacher to enter the program.