Macon State College MVPs is a web feature that profiles notable students, alumni, faculty and staff.
Full Name: Jimmy Colquitt.
Hometown & Residence: Macon.
Family: “My wife, Beth Colquitt, my daughters, Elise and Sylvia, and my son, Jaime.”
Job Title: Director of clinical education and assistant professor of respiratory care.
Degrees: PhD in occupational studies, in progress, University of Georgia; master of education, Georgia College & State University; bachelor of science in cardiopulmonary care; associate of science in respiratory care, Macon State College.
Year he joined the Macon State faculty: Full-time in 2009.
Some of his teaching career highlights are … “When I have been at the bedside when a patient’s life is improved by a student I helped educate through the respiratory therapy degree program.”
He enjoys teaching at Macon State College because … “It gives me the opportunity to positively impact a generation of students and the communities they will one day serve. As a respiratory therapist, I can care for one patient at a time. As a department leader, I can motivate and influence a team of caregivers a shift at a time. As an instructor, I can influence the professional lives of hundreds and the people they care for over their careers.”
His favorite courses to teach are … “Those that allow me to interject my theatrical creativity into the lesson. I enjoy making the lesson come to life. Sometimes I act out a scenario off the cuff - the more animated the better. Life is made of experiences rather than lectures and textbooks. In my view, the more experience that can be added to a lesson, real or imagined, and the more the lesson can engage the student, the better the outcome.”
One thing people don’t know about Macon State is … “It offers a big-city education in a small-town environment. When I hear of high school graduates looking to leave town for a ‘better education’ I can’t help but laugh. The education here at Macon State is just as good as that outside the Middle Georgia area except here the stress level is much lower. You do not have to deal with the hustle and bustle of a large university when you attend Macon State. Your instructors know who you are or at least have a chance at knowing your name. Life is about relationships and at Macon State you can really connect with your instructors.”
One thing people don’t know about him is … “I almost flunked out of high school. I was a borderline student at best and struggled to graduate with my diploma. It was not until I took a chemistry class from Dr. David Dever, here at Macon State, that I realized I could be an ‘A’ student. It was tough but he challenged me to do better and would not take less than my best. I now try to do the same with my students. I challenge them to do their best, not for the grade but to help them experience a higher level of achievement.”
In his spare time he likes to … “Explore ideas with my children. I believe creativity is an asset that can’t be taken away or outsourced. I challenge my children to explore their ideas. If it is something they want to try, I work to make it happen. One time my daughter Sylvia had an opportunity to visit a neurosurgeon/inventor in Atlanta. She was only 7 but had an idea and he was already researching it. It was an experience we will remember for a lifetime.”
The one person he’d most like to meet is … “Well, I don’t know. If I really want to meet someone, I set out to do so. That may sound a little strange but, to me, if there is something you want to do, or someone you want to meet, the only real limiting factor preventing you from doing it or meeting them is you.”
If he wasn’t a college professor he would … “Continue working as a respiratory therapist because I like helping people. I moved from the hospital so I could help a different population of people. In the hospital I helped people who could not breathe. I worked to move them from ill and unable to healthy and enabled. Now, as a college professor, I help students who do not know or understand. I help them move from being unaware and unskilled to being knowledgeable and prepared for their new profession.”