When Aaron Smith, an African American Studies assistant professor of instruction, noticed that the students in his Representing Race class needed some inspiration, he decided to mix things up. He performed his own, Temple-inspired version of Big Sean’s song “One Man Can Change the World.”
Smith might have an advantage when it comes to engaging Temple students because he was one. In fact, Smith has four degrees from Temple: a BA in Asian Studies, an MLA, and an MA and PhD in African American Studies.
“As a four-time graduate from the College of Liberal Arts here at Temple I was given a firm understanding of the tradition of academic excellence the college promotes and also the importance of seizing academic opportunities for teachable moments,” he says.
Smith also credits his success in the classroom to the chair of the African American Studies department, Molefi Kete Asante. “Dr. Asante teaches us to be fearless, with a victorious consciousness and a willingness to improvise in order to connect effectively with our students.”