The best of both worlds: with part-time and full-time 

Tiffany Achermann

With an 18 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio at Minnesota State University Moorhead, it is hard to believe all the faculty is full time. According to MSUMs college Profile from fall 2020 there were roughly 5,547 students and 303 faculty, including 209 full-time faculty and 94 part-time. Part-time faculty, or adjunct professors, are those that only lecture once or twice a week and have a full-time job usually coordinating with the classes they teach. 

Mary Jo Hotzler is the Chief Content Officer for the Forum Communications of the Fargo-Moorhead area, primarily supervising content within the newsrooms of all the Forum Communications and pulling together everything taking place in the departments. She is also teaching the Reporting class spring semester of 2022. 

She had originally wanted to become a teacher when she attended courses at the University of South Dakota as an education major up until her Junior year. Due to her busy schedule, Hotzler realized that she did not have the time to spare, to further her education major and as a result she switched majors to Mass Communications and earned her minor in Both English and German. 

“I was an education major and it got to that point where I had to get serious about doing practicums and student teaching, but I was really busy working for the student newspaper and really into that. I was like I don’t have time to do student teaching,” Hotzler said. 

Hotzler got involved with MSUM by making connections with multiple deparments through the Forum while working to get the students involved with real-world experiences.  With her experience in the journalism field, she is elated to get the opportunity to share her knowledge with students.

“The second I walked on campus I was reminded of that energy that exists on college campuses… that is definitely there and that’s reinvigorating to me to feel that energy from students. And to see the world and business that I’m in through the eyes of people who are future readers and future customers” Hotzler said, “I’m just really energized in that atmosphere and being able to see the world and the business through another lens.”

This is Hotzler’s first time teaching and she plans to continue her education career into the summer, where she’ll be  teaching an asynchronous or online class. She is excited to be able to have the two jobs that she loves. 

Hotzler teaching her reporting class

Ryan Johnson is also an adjunct professor at the MSUM campus. Johnson is the Feature Writing Professor as well as a full-time Features Editor at Forum Communications. 

Johnson went to the University of North Dakota and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He took multiple other courses in different areas including communications and English. “I like to say I was a liberal arts junkie,” Johnson said. 

Johnson first got teaching experience through MSUM Marcil Center for Innovative Journalism apprenticeship program. For 2 ½ years, Johnson worked with “a handful of students” through different departments at The Forum. 

“It was fun. I realized I was a dork for Journalism, and I liked sharing what I learned over the years,” Johnson said about teaching through the apprenticeship program. 

“There is a lot of education I picked up through real-life and real-world experience, and my goal is to share some of that. Help the students get practice,” Johnson said. 

Johnson enjoys bringing in real-world experience into the classroom and sharing those experiences with people who want to do something similar to what he is doing now at The Forum. 

“I think back to when I was in college… but I always just felt like I learned even more from the faculty who have done that job before… It was really cool to hear the real-world experience,” Johnson said. 

Hotzler and Johnson and just two of the adjunct professors on campus. They both hope to continue teaching when they can and enjoy the atmosphere and the students they teach.

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