From writing romance novels to modeling how to nuke asteroids, Central College’s profs have some awesome stories to tell during office hours.
Writing the Great American Novel
Professor of Chemistry Cathy Haustein ’76 uses her expertise to write romance novels with a science twist. “Writing requires looking at evidence, expressing ideas efficiently and drawing a conclusion—just like a lab report,” she says. “Love is a universal topic and gives plenty of opportunity for humor, frustration, self-reflection and a happy ending.” Haustein’s novels Mixed In; Natural Attraction; and Wolves and Deer: A Tale Based on Fact are available in the Central Spirit Shoppe.
Making Disney Magic
Theatre Technical Director Ronald Rybkowski once worked as a full-time stage technician for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. “I was a cast member of Tree of Life Awakening and Rivers of Light, installing technology, driving boats and working with lasers and pyrotechnics,” he says. “While there, I learned sneak-arounds that allow students to learn stage tech economically while making something that looks extraordinary.”
Sharing the Love
Through a friend who started an orphanage in Africa, Associate Professor of Education Jennifer Diers started at Central College in 2008 with three biological children. She has since adopted five children, three with severe disabilities. “People always tell us how blessed or lucky our adopted children are to have joined our family. In reality, my husband and I feel like we are the ones who are blessed,” says Diers, who brings her children to her classes once per semester. “Meeting my children helps my students see that they can use the degree and knowledge they seek at Central to truly change the world—or to at least change the world for one person.”
Saving the World
Assistant Professor of Physics and Engineering Pavithra Premaratne earned his master’s degree by modeling ways to destroy asteroids on a collision course with the earth. “Our objective was to address threat scenarios with really low warning time,” he says. “Our approach was to destroy the asteroid using a nuclear payload that will blast it to smithereens.” Premaratne’s students can look forward to seeing his simulations on the first day of class.
About the Author
Hi! My name is Brandon Rosas, Class of 2020, and I am a communication studies major and art minor. I work as a student writer for Central Communications. Outside of class, I can usually be found drawing, watching Salsa dance videos or studying in the Maytag Student Center. I would love to hear from you!
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions about Central.