One of OSU’s original University Honors College students now teaches in the program
Although he had a comfortable job for eight years in the energy industry, one item on Dan Euhus’ bucket list was someday to be a professor.
So when he learned of an opportunity last fall to return to his alma mater and teach senior-level courses in Oregon State University’s chemical engineering department, it seemed as good a time as any to move from Houston back to Corvallis.
Euhus’ background in industry, his work thus far on the OSU faculty and his history with the University Honors College — he belonged to the first class of freshmen to enroll in the newly created program in 1995 — led the college to nominate him for one of this year’s OSU Alumni Association Alumni Fellow honors.
But Euhus isn’t just an alumnus with the honors college. Along with his chemical engineering classes, he also gets the chance to teach at the honors level.
Euhus’ Energy I.Q. course, which he’ll be team-teaching with two other faculty members this winter term, draws on his background in the energy industry to instruct students in the realities of renewable and nonrenewable energy sources and foster a deeper level of thinking and more informed opinions on energy use.
“Here’s a bunch of facts — how you interpret the facts and apply them to your life is your choice,” he said. “All (the students) are right.”
Only eight students enrolled in the first course last winter, so discussion was a huge part of each week’s hourlong class — and Euhus learned that he appreciated small discussion-style classes as both a professor and a student.
“That’s why I was originally drawn” to the Honors College, he said.
Euhus worked as a teaching assistant in graduate school, but he’s gained a new appreciation for the profession since returning to OSU.
“It’s amazing the time it takes to teach just a three-credit course,” he said.
And Euhus hasn’t gotten over the “surreal” factor of working with the professors who taught him the fundamentals of chemical engineering more than a decade ago — though the feeling isn’t necessarily reciprocated.
“I think I’m the only one who thinks it’s surreal,” he said with a laugh.
Contact Gazette-Times reporter Gail Cole at 541-758-9510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.