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Dr. Jeff Bolton Brings Passion for Teaching & Learning to his BSC Engineering Technology Students

  • Created
    Monday, October 17 2011
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103

bolton_jeffrey_dr(Bluefield)—Dr. Jeff Bolton is passionate about teaching, and he transmits that enthusiasm to his students. However, the Bluefield State College Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology didn't plan from the start to enter a career in education.

A Mercer Christian Academy graduate, Bolton says, "It was somewhat accidental that I became a teacher." After beginning his collegiate studies at Bluefield State College, he transferred to Virginia Tech and enrolled in the Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) program. "I had a friend who had started in that program, and after I had taken a few courses, I was 'hooked' on ESM," he explained.

He continued his studies at Virginia Tech, earning a Master's Degree, and began a graduate teaching assistantship as a statics and dynamics instructor. "I really started to like teaching, especially the interaction with students," he recounted. In fact, Bolton was selected to receive the university's prestigious 2010 Sporn Award for Excellence in Teaching Engineering Subjects.

His popularity among his students is a result of his high demands. "It's good to hold high standards for students' performance," he continued, "but you have to be fair. If you treat students with respect, they'll reciprocate. I love what I teach and it comes across to the students. It's a partnership between the student and the faculty. So much depends upon the students' work ethic."

With a strong Princeton-area connection, Bolton and his wife Aimee decided to return to the area to be closer to family. After receiving his Ph.D. earlier this year, Bolton joined the BSC Engineering Technology faculty this semester.

"A strength of Bluefield State College's Engineering Technology program is the 'hands on' teaching that's offered," he said. "Students here take several laboratory classes and have the opportunity to balance the theory of the classroom with the 'hands on' experience of the lab."

"The classes at BSC are small enough to permit individualized attention to students' learning. We teach them how to do something," he continued. "A graduate from Bluefield State College can travel as far as someone from a major university. And as a teacher, I have an opportunity to have a direct impact upon my students' future success."