‘Professor of the Year’ values students, history, music—and his dog, Margie.
Students have described Assistant Professor of Business Administration Scott Randolph as “encouraging,” “dedicated” and “challenging.” They also named him College of Arts and Sciences 2015-2016 Professor of the Year.
In fact, students have nominated Randolph for the honor every year since 2012.
“Redlands students understand that as an institution we truly value teaching, and even when classes are difficult—and mine are—they want and respect that and reward it,” says Randolph. “That’s the true honor, that our students made this decision. What more could a professor want?”
From an early age, he knew he wanted to be a teacher, and he found inspiration all around him—from his fifth-grade experience challenging his history teacher to his natural ease speaking in front of audiences. He later had mentors such as Jack Cargill, professor emeritus of ancient history, during his studies at Rutgers University who further shaped his course.
“Jack was the first person who made me understand that if you set high standards, students will work up to them,” Randolph says. “He set very high standards, not just for students but for himself.”
Randolph’s own standards impact not only how he teaches in the classroom, but also how he interacts with students outside of it. He values time spent with students whether during office hours, or at a U of R basketball game or dance performance.
“Students want to feel you are invested in them—and I am,” he says. “Sometimes that means I need to be here at 8 p.m., if that’s the only time a student can meet.”
His interests include Ultimate Frisbee, biking and Margie, his pug-Pekinese mix, to whom he dedicated a paragraph of thanks in his Ph.D. dissertation. He’s also an avid musician. A former member of the New Jersey Youth Symphony, Randolph plays harmonica, accordion, tin whistle and drums. He’s performed in venues ranging from coffee houses to Carnegie Hall and, during grad school, recorded and released two CDs as part of a faculty-led band.
He also has a passion for railroads that stems from his family history.
Randolph grew up in Metuchen, a New Jersey town along the main rail line from New York to D.C. His grandfather worked on a railroad in South Jersey. Yet the railroad’s place in American history is what truly captured his attention.
“If you’re interested in U.S. history from the 1830s to the 1980s, there’s nothing you can’t study through the lens of railroads,” he says. “Labor, issues of gender and race, capitalism, jurisprudence practices, diplomacy—you can study it all through railroads.”