Faculty Spotlight: Professor of Biology Mike Amspoker

For students at Westminster, the opportunity to form friendships with professors in small classes and through office visits is one of the greatest perks the college has to offer. Dr. Mike Amspoker, a biological researcher and favorite professor for many at our school, has numerous professional accomplishments to be proud of. But in order to get to know him a little better, we decided to ask him some more personal questions. Here are his responses:

Why do you teach?

I really like working with students. Freshman always represent at challenge to me, as I often play a role in helping them get through their first year. I remember struggling as a freshman in college, so it’s nice to watch them pull through and see how much they have grown in confidence when they are seniors.

Why do you teach at Westminster specifically?

Having taught at other colleges, the students impress me the most here. I am constantly being asked questions in the classroom I wish I had thought of myself, so they help me continue to be lifelong learner myself.

What are you most likely to be found doing on a weekend afternoon?

I like being outdoors. I enjoy taking my dog on a walk through the Mark Twain National Forest or going fly fishing.

Who is your best friend?

Hank Ottinger, who used to direct with Westminster’s LOC program. We have taken groups of students on many off-camps trips (Belize, Kenya, Peru and Ecuador, including the Galapagos Islands) and as we come from different academic backgrounds (his is English) we always have something new to share with each other.

What was the last book you read?

The Fleet at Floodtide by James Hornfischer

What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

Deviled eggs

Any random talents?

I can juggle.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I was recruited to play football at the University of California, Davis, and invited to try out for rugby at San Diego State (I did neither and instead focused on academics).

Thanks for talking with us, Dr. Amspoker!

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