This May Dr. Andy Felts will retire from teaching at College of Charleston. Professor Felts joined the Department of Political Science in 1989 and served for a decade as the Director of the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Center for Public Affairs and Policy Studies. Dr. Felts earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from The Pennsylvania State University and his B.A. from Miami University in Political Science and History. We were fortunate to talk with Dr. Felts about his time at College of Charleston.
How did you decide to pursue a career in academia?
I knew I wanted to teach, but wasn’t sure if I wanted to teach in high school or college. I decided to pursue college because I had the impression that students who would register for my class would want to be there.
What courses have you taught at the college?
One of the first courses I taught was Introduction to American Politics. I really enjoyed teaching this course because it was the first exposure students had to American government. For the public administration program, I taught a course that focused on public budgeting. More recently I have taught courses on political thought and a special topics class that discusses the influence of technology in politics. In the technology course, students are suddenly becoming aware of the fact that social media can make a difference in how you can see the world. I try to help them think of things objectively and understand how much their worldview is influenced by what they read on the Internet.
What has been your research focus?
My current focus is on social acceleration, the idea that communication is accelerating at a pace much faster than people are. I’m particularly concerned with where students are getting information and how quick that information is getting to them.
What are your favorite CofC memories?
There are many because I have been here a long time. My favorites are when students who come back years after graduation and say that I have made a difference in their lives.
What do you see for the future of our students?
Our students are going to have to be agile and anticipate changes in their profession.
What are your plans for retirement?
I plan to travel. I would especially like to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) and also to travel to Iceland. I will continue to be a lifelong learner.