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by Samantha Black, student writer

 

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 American studies.

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 10 years.

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 his point.
“ 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.

 
 

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