...“The small classes allow your relationship with the professor to grow,” says Sam Kussin-Shoptaw, a senior politics and government major whose largest class in four years had 31 students. Those relationships can have big payoffs. In 2006, one of Kussin-Shoptaw’s professors, who’d noticed his interest in politics, told him about an opportunity to work on Democrat Darcy Burner’s US Congressional campaign. The then-sophomore parlayed his volunteer position into a more permanent role with the Democratic Party, and this summer he attended the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
Kussin-Shoptaw also commends faculty members for their willingness to take time from their own research projects to help students. “Even outside of office hours, they’ll spend time with me,” he says. “I mean, they do what all professors do—they do their research and write their books—but mostly they’re here to teach first. They make us their No. 1 priority.” Which, after all, is how a university should be.