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The Best and Worst Professors at CUNY Hunter College

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CUNY, or the public university system in New York, is the largest urban university in the United States. One of its affiliated institutions is Hunter College located in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Approximately 15,500 students attend the school of purple and gold, and it’s no surprise why. The university has spawned many successful alumni, from performing arts masters to government and scientific leaders. Undergraduates can select from 70 programs in pursuit of a BA or BS degree. In fact, notable publications like The Princeton Review and U.S.A. Today have praised Hunter College for its excellent academics. That’s due in no small part to a talented faculty that includes poets, political scientists and historians (very much an arts minded crowd). If you’re considering becoming a Hawk, then you’re probably curious about which professors you should seek out or skip. Good news, friend: we’re about to tell you!

As mentioned above, Hunter College has some rather accomplished individuals in the sciences. Donna McGregor more than upholds the chemistry department’s legacy with her outstanding lectures that supplement the complex material with videos. While she might not be the easiest grader, your effort will be rewarded with a solid base knowledge for future science courses her teaching philosophy at work. Students also say she’s quite empathetic; you never know when you’ll  need to cash in on such kindness. Missed assignment? You just might be in luck.

Avi Liveson brings accounting a sometimes bland subject to life for his students. Not only is he characterized as a funny and interesting man, but he also knows how to simplify challenging concepts. He relates course work to real world examples, doesn’t take attendance and doesn’t rely heavily on a textbook to do his job for him. Now if that isn’t the trifecta of an awesome professor, we don’t know what is.

If closely studying religion with a scientific bias sounds exciting, then you must enroll in a course with Wendy Raver. This intellectual professor will open your mind to a variety of cultures, and she’s a master at facilitating thoughtful discussions. Her enthusiasm for the material is plain, which translates to a very lively classroom atmosphere. Bonus points: many of her required textbooks can easily be found online for free. She realizes that religion classes often require elevated amounts of reading in a short time. If it’s clear you’re putting in the effort, you’ll receive the grade you deserve.

Roger Persell, a biology department regular, happens to be one of the least favored professors at Hunter. His lectures tend to be bloated and unclear, dissolving into tangents that only further confuse students. Those who really hit the textbooks when studying will be disappointed when they realize his exams often incorporate completely foreign material. His class is the kind you’ll fall severely behind in if you skip even just one time. Survivors say their lab instructors were to thank, but even those can be hit or miss. Find someone else, and keep your GPA intact.

Psychology can be a fascinating topic when taught the right way, but Roseanne Flores hasn’t figured out how to do that yet. Students say she can’t seem to follow the syllabus, and prefers to go on tangents about current events instead. She also has an intimidating and unfriendly disposition, which makes it hard for Hawks to ask for extra help. She definitely hasn’t won anyone over by refusing to provide review sheets or sessions for upcoming exams. Skip like you’ve never skipped before.

From time to time, students are known to get confused and ask a question a completely normal aspect of the learning process. Mathematics professor Saran Soman can’t stand answering questions he deems “obvious”, and he makes matters worse by having a hostile and condescending attitude. He’s uninterested in new ideas, and you’ll be punished for deviating from his preferred way of doing things.

Great! Now you know which professors are worth your time and Monday. A former student told us about five things they wish they knew before attending Hunter College. Go on, we know you want to read it.

Ryan James is a ’13 alumnus of Ohio University’s College of Arts & Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in writing and media. He currently works as a copywriter for a Fortune 500 e-commerce corporation based in Columbus, OH.

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