RYAN GIBB – Assistant Professor of International Studies

Story by Katie Thurbon

Fresh off defending his prize-winning dissertation at Kansas University, Ryan Gibb, assistant professor of international studies, will now be part of the full-time faculty at Baker University.

Gibb was also on campus last year as an adjunct professor. Baker has not had a full time international studies professor since the departure of Ryan Beasley in 2011.

The hiring of Gibb marks a rejuvenation of the international studies major.

“I’m excited about the classes that I’m teaching and some of the things we’re going to try and introduce next year,” Gibb said. “We’re talking about doing a Model [United Nations] and possibly teleconferencing with people on different continents.”

Gibb will be teaching three courses next semester: an introduction to international studies, an introduction to American politics and a 300-level Quest class.

“This will be my first experience with Quest,” Gibb said. “It’s kind of exciting because professors get to teach something that they’re excited about while also hitting the core curriculum.”

Gibb likes to make the material engaging and memorable.

“Studies show students tend to forget a good chunk of what they learn so if you can tie it to something you’re already interested in, then I think people will remember it better or at least add some nuance to how they understand or dissect an issue,” Gibb said.

Gibb won the Fulbright Scholarship while at KU to study in Africa and hopes to bring more African-based courses to Baker. He also hopes to teach courses that have elements focusing on an individual’s interactions with the world.

“We interact with the world in a thousand different ways every day and knowing how you affect the world is important,” Gibb said. “So I feel like I contribute to that and I feel like students coming from all sorts of disciplines will learn from that.”