Student reflects on influential professor

During my first semester at Geneseo, I was fortunate enough to take American politics with political science relations and international relations professor James Moor. I took it to fulfill a requirement, not because I had any interest in the subject. Little did I know, however, that it would become one of the most influential courses in my entire academic experience. Before I took Moor’s class, I found politics to be a rather dry topic. I knew where my family was on the political spectrum and where I stood on major issues, but I had trouble properly articulating my political views, backing them up with facts and defending my beliefs adequately.

Moor takes a passionate approach in his lectures while still remaining professional and unbiased. He openly shares his personal experiences and tells countless funny anecdotes. His enthusiasm for political science made me eager to learn more from him and attempt to become more politically astute.

One of my favorite things about Moor was that he spoke directly and in layman’s terms so that everyone could understand. For example, he would say, “You can’t sell enough Mercedes to build an economy, you’ve got to sell Chevys” when referring to the economic importance of the middle class.

Moor provided me with tools to form my own informed opinions and gave me the knowledge to discuss politics and current events confidently. After taking his class, I felt as if I discovered a whole new identity—or at least a part of myself that had previously been dormant.

Moor expressed the idea that he strives to make students—no matter how small the class—more informed, active individuals. “If I can get 20-25 percent of a class to be more democratic citizens, I’ve succeeded,” he said. In my case, he certainly succeeded. I began the class with low expectations and left inspired and eager to learn even more.

Reinforcing his dedication to teaching, Moor willingly makes an hour and a half commute to Geneseo. “People say, ‘Well, Moor, why do you drive all the way to Geneseo?’ For you guys. It’s because I need you as much as you need me,” he said. “I see these students that are awesome and they will make a difference. There’s no question about it, they will make a difference.”

Any student of Moor’s that I have talked to has only expressed positive sentiments. “Not only does Moor exemplify the passion that every professor should have for what they do, but he is an example to the rest of us on how to become a positive influence in others’ lives,” sociology major and political science minor junior Jessica Sawyer said in an email interview.

Moor became a professor for all the right reasons and is noble in his approach. I’d recommend taking any of his classes, whether you’re a political science major or simply need an elective. It’s an experience you will not regret.