Jeffrey Hause, PhD
For Jeffrey Hause, PhD, a professor of philosophy and Classical and Near Eastern studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at Creighton University, the classroom is what brings him to life.
Teaching in a classroom can be an emotionally, physically and intellectually challenging experience. For Jeffrey Hause, PhD, a professor of philosophy and Classical and Near Eastern studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at Creighton University, the classroom is what brings him to life.
“Teaching is very energizing for me,” said Hause, who was announced Nov. 19 as the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education 2015 Nebraska Professor the Year. “I leave the classroom with more energy than when I started, and I get so much of that from the students. Teaching takes me back to the days when I was a student and I’ve always felt, as a teacher, I honor my professors by following the best of their practices.”
Being able to meet students where they are in their academic and life journey is a key component of Hause’s teaching philosophy. “It’s important to move students out of their ingrained categories of thought and to get them to see the world from some other person’s point of view,” he said, and a historical perspective is also important: “For the students, it’s an exercise in thinking and judging fairly. The history of ethics helps us to figure out why we’ve arrived in the place where we are and the students come to understand that it’s not possible to see our own moral categories and moral emphases without seeing how these came into being and worked over time.”
Honored to Direct the Honors Program
For the past five years, Hause has also headed Creighton’s Honors Program. He says this work complements his classroom interactions with students and has given him an even broader look at what Creighton’s undergraduates are discovering, researching and accomplishing.
“People get sick of me bragging about these students,” Hause said. “I never thought I’d take on administrative work, but the Honors Program directorship I consider to be an extension of what I do in the classroom. It’s been a truly rewarding experience, especially when I can trace students’ progress from the time they apply to Honors into their post-graduate success stories.”
Hause arrived at Creighton in 2002 from Boston, where he had been a visiting lecturer at Harvard Divinity School and a professor St. John’s Seminary College in Boston. Hause holds his doctorate in philosophy from Cornell University.
He serves as the co-general editor of the Hackett Aquinas, a series of state-of-the-art translations of and philosophical commentaries on Aquinas’ works, published by the Hackett Publishing Co. He has edited, co-edited or translated scholarly editions of three works by Aquinas and is at work on a monograph on Aquinas’ Ethics and Action Theory.
Part of a Tradition of Excellence in Teaching
This is the third consecutive year Creighton has laid claim to the Nebraska Professor of the Year award and Hause is the fourth Creighton professor in three years to receive a Professor of the Year recognition. Gintaras Duda, PhD, a professor of physics, was named a Carnegie National Professor of the Year in 2013 and Matthew Huss, PhD, MLS, a professor of psychology, was named Carnegie’s 2013 Nebraska Professor of the Year. In 2014, English professor Greg Zacharias, Ph.D., was named the Nebraska Professor of the Year.
For his part, Hause said he was honored but also humbled to join in what is fast becoming a bit of a tradition at Creighton in earning Professor of the Year honors.
“I’m kind of embarrassed,” Hause said of the honor. “I just go into the classroom and do my thing. My goal is to present the material in full complexity but never to talk over anyone’s head,” Hause said. “You have to put yourself in the place of the wide variety of students in the classroom and try to imagine: ‘What would it be like for me to learn this material?’ That really guides what I do in the classroom.”
Reporting by University Communications and Marketing Communications and Public Relations staff