Will Foxwell knows from experience what it’s like to be a Chesapeake College student.
“When I was a senior at North Dorchester High School I took a communications course with Amy Childs at the Cambridge Center,” said Foxwell, who has returned to Chesapeake as an adjunct instructor in the Communications Department. “It definitely helped me prepare for college. It gave me a frame of reference on what a college course would be like.
“It was definitely different from a high school course, where you have so many assignments that make up your grade,” continued Foxwell, who teaches Fundamentals of Oral and Organizational Communications at the Cambridge Center on Mondays and Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. “In college you have very few assignments and you have to do well on pretty much all of them. It makes you step up your game.”
Childs, now chair of the Social Sciences Department, said she remembers having Foxwell as a student.
“I recall that Will was an active and engaged student, with a great sense of humor,” said Childs.
“As a teacher, there aren’t many things more rewarding than having one of your students find a passion for the subject you love,” added Childs. “If I contributed anything to sparking that in Will, I am just thrilled.”
Foxwell, who holds a master’s degree in communications from Johns Hopkins University, said he’s tried to remember what it’s like to be a student.
“Some instructors I’ve had I didn’t really identify with because they seemed to have forgotten what it’s like to be a student,” said Foxwell. “I wanted to design the course in such a way that it’s built for students – challenging, but interesting.”
Foxwell said he contacted Childs about potentially returning to Chesapeake as a communications instructor after completing his communications degree at Hopkins.
“I didn’t know if she’d remember me or not, but she did,” said Foxwell. “Amy gave me my chance.”
“Besides his impressive academic credentials, I knew that Will would have a unique understanding of Chesapeake students and campus culture having been a student here himself,” said Childs of her reasons for hiring Foxwell.
Foxwell said he started as a history/secondary education major at Salisbury University before switching his major to communications as a sophomore.
“I took a couple of other communications classes and found I really liked the subject,’ said Foxwell, whose biggest interests are media and interpersonal communications. “It started with Amy Childs’ class. That kind of got me interested in the subject, including non-verbal communication and a lot of things that really goes unnoticed when most people think of communications.”
While Foxwell is only teaching one course, he is concentrating all of his professional activities on his class.
“This is basically my full-time job at this point,” said Foxwell. “I didn’t know how much planning would go into my first semester teaching – and there is a lot of planning. It’s been really challenging.”
Foxwell said his course is built around three presentations – an informative speech, a persuasive speech and a group presentation that can either be informative or persuasive. Students build to those presentations via class meetings that include a 20-minute lecture and then group work applying that day’s class discussion.
The 8:30 a.m. classes traditionally draw smaller student groups, and Foxwell is pleased his first teaching experience is coming with a nine-student class.
“I kind of like it,” he said. “You know everyone’s name and can build a personal relationship with each student.”
“It’s pretty much exactly what I thought it would be,” said Foxwell. “I like teaching, I like communication and I like interacting with the students.”
His students are just as pleased.
“I like his class,” said Chesapeake student Kirsten Budd. “He’s very easy-going and he explains everything well.”
“I really like him as a teacher,” added fellow student Calvin Johnson. “He works with us and he makes everything understandable. It’s a good class.”