Macon State College MVPs is a web feature that profiles notable students, alumni, faculty and staff.
Full Name: Elizabeth A. Riley.
Hometown and Current Residence: Macon.
Family: Husband; two children; “Tux” the dog; “Oreo” the cat; and “Jet” the bird.
Job Title: Associate professor of information technology.
Degrees: Bachelor of business administration, Mercer University; master of business administration, Georgia College & State University.
Year she joined the Macon State faculty: 2000.
Some of her teaching career highlights are … “The biggest highlight was simply getting this job. I had worked for 15 years in IT and had toyed with the idea of teaching, but it just didn’t seem possible. When the opportunity came up to try it part-time, I was thrilled. Now here I am, nine years later. Another highlight of teaching happens each semester. I see students struggle and struggle and then suddenly the light bulb comes on. They begin to understand programming and their whole attitude changes. The look on their faces says ‘I can do this!’ Those moments make this job fun.”
She enjoys teaching at Macon State College because … “I have the opportunity to meet and work with such a variety of people. We all have different backgrounds, different obstacles. We may even come from different countries, yet we are all here either trying to improve our own lives or improve the lives of others. Thanks to interacting with a variety of people, I learn something new nearly every day.”
Her favorite course to teach is … “Java programming. Since it is one of our foundational courses, I have the opportunity to see nearly all IT majors. It is also a topic that I can get enthusiastic about and I find it fun to teach.”
One thing people don’t know about Macon State is … “We have a beautiful campus and so many people here that truly want to help students succeed. Oh, and we have really good coffee!”
One thing people don’t know about her is … “I attended Macon State for two years way back when it was called ‘Macon Junior.’ I spent most of those two years playing ping pong in the game room.”
In her spare time she likes to … “Run, garden, and attempt to play the mandolin.”
The one person she’d most like to meet is … “Me, at age 18. I would like to explain to her what’s really important in life and what means absolutely nothing over the long haul.”
If she wasn’t a college professor she would be … “A writer, because I love to write. My brain is constantly swirling with ideas for writing.”