The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

Meet chemistry professor Richard Bloss

Hailey Roden

Richard Bloss studied chemistry at Ball State University and minored in computer science. His over 30-year career specialized in information security for his day job, but since 1983 after the hours of 9-5 p.m., Bloss can be found crossing the river from Cincinnati to teach chemistry two nights a week at NKU’s Science Center.

Richard Bloss

Professor of: Chemistry

From: Cincinnati, Ohio

Time as a part-time faculty member at NKU: 41 years

Bloss has always taught a two-part general chemistry course, the first part (CHE 120) being in the fall semester and the second part (CHE 121) continuing in the spring semester.

His love of teaching began when he was in graduate school studying chemistry at Ball State University. He was presented with opportunities as a graduate assistant and also through a fellowship, learning the role of a professor and enjoying the content he was learning.

“I enjoyed the subject, I still do enjoy the content that I teach and seeing it click with students,” Bloss said.

The Northerner sat down with Bloss to discuss his career and teaching as a part-time faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Q: You mentioned that your day job was in information security. Can you tell me more about that?
A: “I was a two career person for a long, long time, and I’ve been teaching for 41 years, but I always worked full-time with a day job before retiring two years ago from that. My teaching and my part-time work was only at night.”

Q: What are your favorite things about teaching?
A: “I really have a profound respect for the non-traditional students and I think that’s why it’s been such a good fit for me to be there in the evenings. All these years, I appreciate how hard people are working to make it possible for them to go to school at night. Many of them, after working full-time day jobs, come here at night and I take it as a challenge to keep them alert, awake and entertained with what is for many a challenging subject. So it’s a challenge to me, but I also like the interactions with the students and making a difference.”

Q: You mentioned you retired two years ago. How did you balance both your full-time job and teaching part-time?
A: “I had a lot of support from a lot of people, and it really wouldn’t have been possible without having an understanding family that knew I liked what I did. My parents helped me a lot by ensuring that I got a good education when I was in primary, secondary school and also to get me through college. But when I was teaching, you know my parents would occasionally watch my kids for a while when I was temporarily my kids’ sole caregiver.”

Q: What are the benefits to your part-time teaching role?
A: “The satisfaction more than anything else. If you like to teach and you like getting that joy of seeing someone or hearing someone say, ‘Yeah, this was hard for me. I finally get it.’ That’s very rewarding, and to have those moments and maybe make a difference for somebody on the way to getting their career—that’s what it does for me.”

Q: What are the challenges to part-time teaching?
A: “Because of my daytime job, it was a constant challenge for me to time manage to get the lectures prepared, get the exams and the assignments graded. It was a nonstop challenge for time management, but the rewards made up for that.”