Dr. Julius Ford Teaching Fellowship Program
Biographies of Fellows and their experiences in the Program
Dr. George Keteku
Not long after defending a dissertation proposal at Binghamton University (SUNY), I joined the faculty of the Behavior/Social Science Division as an adjunct professor. And since 2006, I have taught courses in History, Political Science, and Introduction to Social/Behavior Science.
My graduate work was largely focused on three areas: Comparative Politics, World Politics, and Methodology. My research was on the principles and logic behind the design of democratic institutions. I examined the factors that lead elites --- during the early stages of democratic rule --- to agree on the rules of the game (i.e. on the adoption of crucial institutions such as electoral systems). While working at Westchester Community College and with “All But Dissertation” left on the graduate studies, together with others, I had a research paper (“The Missing Link in the Trade Conflict Relations”) published in a leading political science journal (Journal of Conflict Resolution). I have attended and presented several papers at conferences organized by the professional associations. The working papers I have worked on and presented at conferences, for most part, reflect my biases in cross-disciplinary approach to social scientific research. I have presented studies on conflict and trade, human rights and prospect theory, and comparative institutions.
The acceptance into the Ford Fellowship program during my third year at WCC validated my fond attachment to the college and to the Behavior/Social Science Division. The fellowship has opened doors that are usually closed to adjuncts. I attend faculty meetings; participate in union affairs, and feel more a part of the college.
On teaching side of things, the Fellowship had enriched my knowledge and approach in the classroom far more than any experience I had prior. This is largely a credit to the way the program selects and assigns mentors. Dr. Frank Fato, a professor of vast experience and with the same background in political science, nudges me (at our weekly meetings) to hone my teaching skills based on my personality. And it has been a transformative discovery. My teaching style has become lively and had opened up interactions and engagements with students in the classroom.
Overall, the fellowship had made me more confident and prepared as a teacher, and had equipped me with skills to succeed in academia.
For the past 12 years, I have worked for Westchester Community College in the Information Technology Department. I have earned an Associate’s in Computer Science from WCC, a Bachelor of Science from Mercy College and a Masters degree in Information Systems from Pace University. I have been teaching adjunct classes for the Computer Information Systems and Computer Science departments since 2007.
In my classes, I like to incorporate my computer experience acquired here at WCC and also my business experience as a Computer Consultant. I emphasize how what I teach in the classroom is applicable in a real world job setting. I especially enjoyed employing this philosophy when I created the campus's first Computer Forensics course, in addition to assisting in the creation of a lab environment for computer investigations.
During the course of this fellowship, I have worked toward increasing student awareness of cybercrimes and computer ethics. Participating in the Dr. Julius Ford fellowship has added to my motivation to continue to assist students in their journeys in the computer career field.