Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
For six years now, Dr. David Doherty has been a contributing member of Loyola’s Department of Political Science. He loves his two kids, playing the accordion (although, admittedly, not very well), and everything that the population and campus of Loyola has to offer. His love of teaching undeniably shines through when he speaks of his profession.
“One of the things that I like about Loyola is that we’re encouraged as faculty to engage in both research and teaching, so in the classroom I try to integrate those two things. I try to engage students with some of the research that I’m doing or that other scholars are doing and introduce them to how we go about trying to answer questions that we then end up teaching in the classroom.”
Integration of research into the classroom is important to Dr. Doherty. He believes that obtaining classroom knowledge and real world experience are both equally vital when it comes to the professional world, as well as everyday life.
“I think the [skills we develop] are tied to our ability to answer questions about the world. If we want to change the world, we need to understand how the world works. We need to understand what kind of policies or inventions might improve the world, and trying to develop an understanding of how to systematically go about answering those questions is one way that I think students can become more prepared to act effectively in the world.”
Dr. Doherty has found that many students gravitate more towards this research-based learning in his politics classes, and some even follow up with him later in hopes to educate themselves further on the subject matter. It is obvious that he is able to make a real connection with his students; they enjoy his class just as much as he enjoys teaching it.
“My primary area of expertise is public opinion research, so I teach a class on that every couple of years and I really enjoy that. It’s an opportunity to share some of my greatest strengths, in terms of some of the topics I’m [best] at. It’s a topic that I think students really engage with because it’s familiar. It’s sort of thinking about how people think; we all have models in our mind about how people make decisions about politics, and to work through some attempts to understand that more systematically is rewarding for me—and I think for the students, too.”
Interview and write up by Mia Sciarrone
Student Worker, Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy