Macon State College MVPs is a web feature that profiles notable students, alumni, faculty and staff.
Full name: Richard S. Spiers.
Originally From: Mississippi.
Current Residence: Byron.
Family: Wife, Carolyn; children Richard, Branson, Joshua, Stephen and Jonathan; and father, Lyonell.
Job Title: Associate professor of information technology.
Degrees: Master’s in business administration from the University of Southern Mississippi, and bachelor’s in Latin American Trade and Finance from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Year he joined the Macon State faculty: 1999.
Some of his teaching career highlights are … “Collecting teaching ‘treasures,’ such as receiving a favorable comment from a student; teaching what I call a ‘Level 5’ class, when students take responsibility for their own learning and are mature enough to help others reach their learning goals; watching for the ‘ah-ha’ moments when a student who has been struggling to master an idea or concept gets it; and working with course materials. As a teacher, I create structures that have no physical form and cannot, without effort, be perceived by the physical senses. And yet, they are as real and tangible as any material object. My appreciation for what has been built can only be seen and understood through the lives that are lived by those whom I have taught. And, in a greater sense, these very lives are the products of all who have taught and all that has been learned.”
He enjoys teaching at Macon State College because … “I enjoy the level of support I feel from both the academic and staff areas of the College. (Contrary to popular belief, teaching is a team sport.) There has been and remains a strategic vision for the College that incorporates faculty, staff and students in a dynamic mental and physical model for the future.”
His favorite course to teach is … “Systems Analysis and Design methodologies have helped unlock my understanding of an ordered universe and brought a sense of understanding to what could be construed as chaos. Systems Analysis and Design provide students with sound approaches to understanding complexity and solving problems (critical thinking skills) in any discipline, including information technology. Some of my best students include non-IT majors."
His other favorite course to teach is ... "The Senior Capstone course. It's very rewarding because I can facilitate and observe the senior-level students applying what they had learned in developing defined products using the knowledge and skills from their specific discipline areas, systems analysis and design and project management.”
One thing people don’t know about Macon State is … “You may be addressed by your first name by faculty members. Students can be recognized as individuals.”
One thing people don’t know about him is … “I enjoy spending some of my uncommitted time researching learning and teaching concepts and theory.”
In his spare time he likes to … “Spend time with my family and conduct genealogical research.”
If he wasn’t a college professor he would be … “For me and for this time in my life, I am a college professor. I have done several other things in my life that I enjoyed, but, I enjoy my profession and what I am doing. People, what they know, how they learn and how they process what they know have always fascinated me.’’