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BSC's Dr. Anthony Curtis Helps Students by Cultivating Enthusiasm for Learning

  • Created
    Thursday, October 06 2011
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103 jnelson@bluefieldstate.edu

curtis_anthony_dr(Bluefield)—Dr. Anthony Curtis has taken to heart the adage that "there's a little bit of good in everyone (or everything)." Curtis, who recently joined the Bluefield State College faculty as an Assistant Professor of Biology, is one of the region's authorities on termites.

He has put together a web-based source of information (www.thetermitepage.com) on the seven families and 2500 species of termites, but just as important, he's transmitting his passion for biology to his students at Bluefield State College.

"The students here are eager to learn," he observed. "I have an enthusiasm for biology, but I'm only one-half of the equation, at most. The students' preparation out of class and their participation in class combine to constitute the other side of the equation. I want them to be engaged in what we are studying. It's tremendously satisfying to see students 'turned on' to biology."

Curtis earned a bachelor's and master's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, then received a Ph.D. in Ecology from Old Dominion University. He met his wife, Dianna (now an OB-GYN M.D.), at ODU. "I taught primarily at the adjunct level at several institutions including Roanoke College, Virginia Western Community College, and Randolph-Macon," he recalled. He accepted an opportunity to join the BSC faculty for the start of the fall 2011 semester, and he's splitting time teaching at BSC's Bluefield campus and the College's location in the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center in Beaver.

In his role as scholar/teacher, he'll defend the oft-maligned termite. "The ecological importance of termites is significant," he explained. "They contribute to the global carbon cycle and nitrogen cycle. While termites may be very destructive to human carpentry endeavors, they are very favorable to forest ecosystems because they are involved in the biogeochemical (nutrient) cycling of carbon and nitrogen."