By Michael Gormley
He’s creating the experience students crave from their teachers: Enjoyable atmosphere, positive energy and bits of humor thrown in to relate the materials toward the student’s own experiences.
With an eccentric and energetic approach to his teachings, Communications Professor Dante Morelli means to show his effort and experiences in ways that are helpful for students looking to relate their lives toward the material being taught.
“I have managed to find ways to relate the materials for students by using humor and techniques I’ve learned from years of experience”, said Morelli. “I’m quite proud to be part of the faculty here and I love working with my students and colleagues”.
Morelli’s history behind getting his current position started back in Radford, Virginia, where he got his Master’s Degree while gaining a teaching assistantship in public speaking classes.
“Once I started getting job offers for my work, I was given two main decisions to work toward. Either I could take up a position selling Life Insurance in Roanoke, Virginia, or I could take a one-year teaching temp job at the Ammerman Campus”, said Morelli. “The decision I made felt to be the correct one at the time and still is as of today.”
With Morelli recently gaining the title of Associate Professor and becoming a faculty union representative of four areas of study here at the college (Communication, Foreign Language, Reading & Freshmen Seminar), he has the credentials in study to prove his worth.
The classes he teaches range from three communication classes (101, 102 & 105) plus a partial semester class of Freshmen Seminar.
“I implement the D2L program offered from the school’s web site to help students with their studies in these classes. They have the ability to access all the study materials before class in order for them to better their understanding of the topics and to have a great studying compliment” said Morelli on the usage of internet in his class.
After sitting in on one of his classes, many students in attendance refer to his comedy as “dark humor” for defining what he uses to make the materials enjoyable. This dark humor may be considered obscene by more sensitive students, due to the seriousness on communication in difficult situations, but his main emphasis is to help the student find humor in both positive and negative sides of communication.
“He is a down to earth teacher who is just as trapped in society as we are. Knowing how to make life in communication seem relatable makes his classes worthwhile” says Anthony Otters, a student of both his 101 and 102 communication classes.
“In a silence experiment that I tried last week, I basically couldn’t talk and had to rely on gestures to communicate. Morelli made it pretty clear that it would be difficult, but it teaches you how important communication is in daily life”, Otters said when discussing a recent activity in COM 102.
“Encouragement for students to be self-expressive and learning how to better ourselves though situations in communication makes up the basis of what’s most important in his teachings” says Vincent Amendola, a student of his 102 class. He notes that Morelli makes a point in his classes to show “value behind relationships of all types and that communication is our way of showing the world our emotions”.