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Portrait Gallery: Susan Dadres, senior lecturer in economics

Susan Dadres, senior lecturer, economicsSusan Dadres regularly receives awards for the design and teaching of online classes. She’s frequently online for fun, too, reading and playing word games.

What is your academic background?

I got my bachelor of science and then my master of arts from UNT in ’84 and ’86. I later went to SMU, where I got my doctorate. Before becoming a senior lecturer in UNT’s Department of Economics in 2006, I was a part-time professor when I came in 2002.

When you’re not teaching from a computer, what else do you like to do?

Normally, I’m at my computer playing video games. I am on facebook a lot and I play Scrabble with various family members. I also enjoy various word games on and I love to play Sims. Oh, and I’m always on my Kindle. Also, I’m very active with my daughter’s PTA. I’m the president. She attends Jess Harben Elementary School in Richardson. When I’m not teaching or by the computer, I’m usually spending a lot of time with my family.

What is your family background?

My husband, Ali, emigrated from Iran in 1979. He came just before the revolution and was shocked to discover that his country had completely changed, so he stayed in the United States and became a citizen after we got married. We’ve been married for 23 years and have two kids - Jesse is 16 and Emma is 11. We adopted our dogs, Chloe and Nemo, and our cat, Jordan, from the Richardson Animal Shelter.

How have you merged Iranian and American culture into your family life?

We have a very multicultural household in terms of food, music, art and so on. We all love to eat shish-kabob with chicken, beef and lamb.

Has your family visited Iran?

My husband originally came to the U.S. to attend college, planning to return to Iran, but the revolution changed everything. He still goes back to see his family quite often, but the rest of us have not made the trip yet because it hasn’t seemed stable enough. The last time he went, elections were taking place and there were protests and violence. It was very frightening while he was away.

What sparked your interest in online education?

Well, the department said we needed to teach one of the courses online. Most of teachers didn’t want to, but because I love to be on a computer so much, I said I’d do it.

What awards have you received for teaching online courses?

I’ve received awards for Exemplary or Outstanding Course Designer and Teacher, and the Outstanding Online Teacher and Course Award.

 Where do you see the future of online education?

Online education is going to become more important. Some faculty would not want to be so accessible to students and some students may not want to learn that way, but it is beneficial to have different options to fit different learning styles. I think online classes allow students to take charge of their learning. And it’s more convenient. I don’t mind giving students my cell phone number, as opposed to meeting me during my office hours, but some teachers wouldn’t like that.

(It's not possible to know everyone on a big, busy campus. So InHouse periodically publishes Portrait Gallery features to help us learn about our colleagues and their contributions to the university's success. Send suggestions for Portrait Gallery subjects by email to InHouse with "Portrait Gallery" in the subject line.)

(Interview by Khashan Poitier, student assistant, University Relations, Communications and Marketing.)

Posted on: Mon 07 March 2011

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