No one’s first choice
for a class is 7:30 a.m. However, if you have to take a class
that early, it is best to take it from a teacher who will
keep you on your toes, or at the very least, one who will
keep you awake.
HPU political science instructor, Rob Vaughan, currently teaches
at three different Hawaiian schools: HPU, the University of Hawai‘i
at Manoa, and Punahou High School. At HPU, Vaughan regularly
teaches Political Science 1400, American Politics, and in Summer
I he also taught International Studies 3940, which this term
was focused on America. His background is American history and
Vaughan received his Bachelor’s degree in American History
from HPU in 1995, and his Master’s and Ph.D from U.H.-Manoa
in 1998 and 2007 respectively.
Vaughan, 55, is originally from Washington, D.C. At 23 he moved
to San Francisco, where he spent 17 years driving trucks. In
1992, after a brush fire in the Oakland area destroyed their
home, he and his wife moved to O‘ahu, where he continued
to drive trucks while he completed his bachelor’s degree.
Vaughan has been teaching at HPU since 1996, as an adjunct, which
means he does not have a full-time or permanent appointment.
Now that he has his Ph.D, he hopes a full-time position at HPU
will open up.
Vaughan brings to his teaching his unique experience as a member
of the Teamster’s Union; one of the largest labor organizations
in the country. In his 20 years of being a truck driver,Vaughan
has delivered everything from furniture, to newspapers, to juice.
He has worked both non-union and union shops, worked his way
up to management, and then went back to driving for his last
These life experiences make Vaughan an interesting teacher. He
brings into the classroom first-hand accounts of how politics
work in the United States. He always has a story to illustrate
I like teaching,” said Vaughan. “I like students.
I love the stuff I am teaching about, so there is a real joy
in sharing that.”
Vaughan especially appreciates HPU’s diversity. “I
really enjoy teaching students from all over. I learn from them.”
I do find that everything they say about HPU being a ‘worldwide
education’ is true. There are small classes and a really
diverse group of people, and that makes teaching and learning
fun,” said Vaughan.
Teaching is the best job I have ever had,” Vaughan added. “It
beats trying to back up a truck into eight lanes of traffic,
and there is no heavy lifting involved.”
Teaching is intellectually stimulating and allows me to indulge
my hobbies, such as reading about America and our culture.”
This fall Vaughan is teaching two sections of PSCI 1400 at 7:30
a.m. and at 8:35 a.m. He encourages anyone who has a requirement
to fill or who has a love of political science to sign up.