College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Institute of Applied Agriculture

Get to Know Dr. Gerald Powell, Oral Communication Lecturer at the IAA

Nina LaTassa

Five new Oral Communication faculty members certainly make the halls of Jull buzz with chatter and energy! I sat down with Dr. Gerald Powell, one of the IAA's newest additions, to see what makes him worth talking about. Here's what he had to say.

1)      What's one interesting fun fact you learned about one of your IAA colleagues?

  1. JoEllen’s son and I share a common research interest! We both are interested in bioethics. I’m concerned about the ethical use of biology for sustainable purposes.

2)      What word or phrase best describes you?

  1. Creative.  I enjoy the process of discovery.

3)      If you could meet one famous rhetorical figure/person, who would it be and why?

  1. Ingmar Bergman. Bergman is a film director best known for The Seventh Seal and Wild  Strawberries.  If rhetoric is defined as the application of reason to the movement of the soul, then Bergman fits the bill.

4)      What is one thing that you learned from a student? Why was that a teachable moment for you?

  1. From one of my biophysics students, I learned more  about the nature of quantum particles and their tendencies. Their random behavior seems to me no different than human tendencies and behavior: Inexplicable 

5)      What’s the most exciting part about working at UMD?

  1. Besides my department--A world class library!

6)      If life were a series of speeches--the topics of which you got to choose---what topic would you talk about and why?

  1. Le quotidien, Ennui, French New Wave Cinema.  These topics are all issues regarding the everydayness of life.

7)      What's one aspect about the IAA that you'd like to learn more about?  

  1. Turf Ecology!

8)      What’s one interesting fun fact about you?

  1. I love to travel! I’ve been to every continent except for Antarctica. I plan to travel to Cambodia in summer 2016.
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