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Celebrating 75 years of vision: Tim Sexton reflects

Pete Shooner | May 4, 2010

Celebrating 75 years of vision: Tim Sexton reflects

Pete Shooner | May 4, 2010

This is the eighth in a series of Russ College faculty profiles, in celebration of the Russ College's 75th anniversary (1935-2010).

When Tim Sexton began teaching at the Russ College in 1985, there were just seven computer terminals for teaching students drafting and design, and Stocker Center was so newly renovated that his office didn’t have a door for the first month.

Sexton, professor of engineering and technology management, says he has stayed so long because he loves what he teaches and loves seeing students get as excited about the subject as he does. 

Now Sexton’s students have access to more than 100 computers, allowing him to let his students experiment on their own first, instead of relying on the instructor.

Sexton, recipient of the 1999 Russ Award for teaching excellence across the Russ College, says he has a “sink-and-swim” philosophy. “I like to give students just enough information to begin a drawing, and then when they’re struggling, step in and help them or bring the class back for a general discussion,” he explains.

Sexton’s techniques don’t go unnoticed by students, who say they appreciate his energy and dedication in the classroom -- and beyond. 

Tamisha Lee, a civil engineering major from Jamaica, calls Sexton not only an outstanding professor, but an outstanding human being.

“He gave us extra credit to become members of different professional organizations to get us to participate in activities that contribute to humanity,” Lee says.

Sexton’s personal research is tied closely with his teaching. He focuses on how students learn to visualize graphic information. 

“All of our students are bright and willing to take whatever you throw at them,” he says.
Over the years, Sexton has achieved a personal goal of getting involved in a national organization and interacting with instructors from all of the country. He is currently chair of the American Society for Engineering Education’s Engineering Design Division, which represents graphics instructors from across the U.S. 

“He explains topics in his CAD (computer-aided design) classes so clearly and simply,” says Colson Deetz, a senior engineering technology and management major from Ragersville, Ohio. “I've often gone to him for answers on certain things and he seems to always have an answer, even when I'm not taking a class with him.”