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One new business professor’s hunger for education at CRC

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Man Phan sips his iced coffee while sporting a crisp button up shirt, slacks and gelled back hair. It’s another typical Monday morning in his office.

However, business Professor Phan’s days were not always so typical. He grew up carrying buckets of well water to and from his village as a part of his daily life.

“Coming from the outside to assume a full-time teaching position is pretty rare,” Phan said. “I’ve been blessed and fortunate.”

Phan lived in a village in Vietnam until the age of 7, when he, his three brothers and his dad fled to America in hopes of a better life. Phan’s mother was not able to leave for another eight years.

She planned to flee with them, but because of circumstances in the village they had to reunite later.

During those eight years, “my father was my mother. That’s why I love him dearly,” Phan said.

Phan now “rolls out of bed and into the classroom,” where he thrives on relating everyday life to concepts found in the textbook.

“It’s the ‘a-ha!’ moment that gives me joy,” Phan said.

Even at a young age, Phan knew he wanted to be an educator.

“I want to pique students’ interest and inspire them to think and learn,” he said.

Phan spent most of his education career within a two-mile radius in the San Diego area.

A scholarship to the University of San Diego led Phan to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a master’s degree in international business.

Phan is currently working towards his doctorate at California State University, Sacramento, focusing on community colleges.

“The community college administrators have given me a real vivid picture of how education affects students. That really rattled my interest,” he said.

Phan enjoys teaching and “it’s the culture and climate that I appreciate being a part of here at Cosumnes River College,” Phan said.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be on campus every day working with colleagues and helping students learn.”

Using the socratic method of teaching, Phan encourages his students to ask questions and engage in an active student-teacher dialogue.

“My biggest fear is students falling asleep in my class,” Phan chuckled.

Students showed no signs of heavy eyelids in the lively and interactive vibe during Phan’s business introductory course.

“He tries to get people to participate and makes sure they’re involved,” said 24-year-old business major Brandon Martinez.

“If I can inspire a student by stirring his or her interest and motivating them to ask questions and seek knowledge, then I have done my part as an instructor,” Phan said.

From the village of Vietnam to the classroom of CRC, Phan hopes to inspire his students and strive for future success.

“My father always said, “seek out education available in the U.S.’ —I did just that.”

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One new business professor’s hunger for education at CRC