Thank a CMC Professor

CMC Prof. Marc Massoud (pictured second from right) celebrating with Stella Ho ’97 at her wedding, along with CMC Prof. James Taylor and alumna Julie Chen Woo ’97.

In May, we are taking a moment to appreciate our impressive professors. Do you have a fond classroom memory? Or an anecdote about how a professor positively impacted your life? Now’s your chance to show your gratitude by sharing your story with us!

Please use our “Share Your Story” link to send us your memories and photos.

For inspiration, here are several CMC alumni and students who shared some favorite moments with us.

Prof. Marc Massoud
Prof. Marc Massoud

Stella Ho ’97

Prof. Marc Massoud is the type of person who goes above and beyond, and he has a unique ability to inspire his students to do the same. He teaches with a level of passion that is very rare and special. I feel very fortunate that I was able to experience Prof. Massoud’s classroom.

He treats his students like family. He is “Dad,” and we are his sons and daughters. I think his students feel so connected to him because we can see and feel how much he truly cares. I am always amazed when I meet students who are five, 10, 15, 20 years younger than I am, and he still has that same effect on students.

Jimena Landa ’22 and Prof Jennifer Taw
Jimena Landa ’22 – Prof. Jennifer Taw

Jimena Landa ’22

I took Prof. Jennifer Taw’s “U.S. Foreign Relations” course this fall. As you can expect, it was a good semester for that class. Prof. Taw continues to amaze me with her vast knowledge of practically everything. It seems like there is no topic she can’t discuss. She inspires me to be a more critical thinker and to articulate my ideas logically and concisely.

Michelle Guerra Madruga ’92 and Prof Jack Pitney
Michelle Guerra Madruga ’92 – Prof. John J. Pitney

Michelle Guerra Madruga ’92

Prof. Jack Pitney left a lasting impression on my college academics. By taking his Government 20 class my freshman year, Prof. Pitney not only inspired me to become a Government major, but truly taught me how to write. He required his students to become familiar with The Elements of Style by Strunk and White and then apply those principles to class assignments. It was an enormous lifetime gift that helped me with future CMC papers, the senior thesis, and my banking career. I now try to teach my children the value of writing well. Thank you, Prof. Pitney!

Carlos Montelongo ’23 and Prof Gaston Espinosa
Carlos Montelongo ’23 – Prof. Gaston Espinosa

Carlos Montelongo ’23 

The “U.S. Latino Religions and Politics” course taught by Religious Studies Prof. Gaston Espinosa helped to expand my horizons. That course taught me so many new things about my culture that I previously did not know. Prof. Espinosa never excluded anyone from class discussions and he brought out the best in me academically.

Paul Novak ’86 and Prof Ward Elliot
Paul Novak ’86 – Prof. Ward Elliott

Paul Novak ’86

Prof. Ward Elliott was one of my favorite professors, but he taught me even more outside of the classroom. When I was a stress case over my thesis, he would crack a joke to put me at ease. When I wanted to be a dork and study on a weekend, he'd rope me in to a sing-along at his house. A serious intellectual, yet one who never took things too seriously. He taught me and others a lot about how to enjoy life, whether it was reading a book or strumming a guitar.

Henry Taylor '94 and Prof. John Roth
Henry Taylor ’94 – Prof. John Roth

Henry Taylor ’94

Three of my favorite professors were John Roth (Philosophy), Clark Kucheman (Religion), and Alfred Balitzer (Government). They were thoughtful, rigorous, caring, encouraging, challenging and insightful. I learned something new academically in each class session and I took multiple classes from each professor. Each of them invested in my education and in me personally, and I'm eternally grateful.

Esther Saidman ’84 and Prof Nick Warner
Esther Saidman ’84 – Prof. Nicholas Warner

Esther Saidman ’84

I traveled back to CMC a few years ago when my youngest son was looking at schools. I had the great opportunity to see Prof. Nick Warner. Prof. Warner and I shared a memory of the time when I asked him about grad school, and he asked me “do you have a passion for it?” Though it was a simple question, I recall leaving his office a bit off-kilter. It was his support as a mentor that helped me really think about what I wanted to do (and perhaps what I didn't want to do) — spoiler here, I did not become an English professor. But I often ask myself (and others) that same question! Moments like these were what made our educational experience so special — it was the value placed not just on studies and grades, but on helping us navigate young adulthood.

Eric Weber ’79 and Prof Gerald Eyrich
Eric Weber ’79 – Prof. Gerald Eyrich

Eric Weber ’79

My mentor was Prof. Gerald Eyrich. He is still my friend and mentor today. I think the world of him because he always thought that every one of us could do more and better than we thought we could do. He helped me get into the University of Chicago and provided consulting services to my start-up pet food company. Gerry was and is the reason that doors opened for me at the right time and place in my journey through CMC and on to grad school.





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