Prof. Barbara Schmidt to retire after 25 years

Barbara Schmidt, who has been teaching speech at DMACC full time for 16 years and taught as an adjunct for the 9 years before that, will be retiring this year. She has been an active member of the Dmacc community and will be retiring this year. Schmidt says she will miss her colleagues and her students.

“I love the students, I’ve also taught at Iowa State, Upper Iowa, and Drake and I just love the students,” Schmidt said.

Since she has taught for 25 years at DMACC, the average student is a lot different today than in the past.

“I think they’re more diverse for sure, with age and ethnicity,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt has many memories from over the years about Dmacc students. Schmidt says that one of the most surprising memories is having a student admit in a speech that he had killed someone.

“I just feel like I have the best job in the whole world. The students bring so much to the classroom the speeches are interesting I’ve learned a lot from my students.”

Schmidt said that the biggest challenge with her job is time since she spends a lot of time with students and keeping up with emails.

Schmidt has big plans for her retirement as well. Schmidt has a lot of experience with bicycling and sometimes rides her bicycle to campus from the west side of Des Moines with a colleague. Schmidt also rides her bicycle on Ragbrai and has organised a DMACC riding team for the event. Schmidt would like to continue riding on RAGBRAI with the DMACC team.

Schmidt also does biking trips in other countries and wants to tour Vietnam and Thailand on her bicycle with her husband. She has also biked in Central America, Australia, and five countries in Europe.

“Travel is such a wonderful way to expand your mind, and being on a bicycle is so much more intimate with the country than being on a tour bus.”, Schmidt said.

Schmidt is very active at DMACC with the aesthetics on campus. Schmidt wanted to use the walls as a place for art and started by picking up posters. Having the posters hung up helps inspire students. Some of the speech classes and humanities classes use the poster with their lessons as well.

She was also active in the DMACC Sustainability Task force and has been on the Earth week committee and during Earth week had the bear sculptures put in as well. She also started the canoe races that were held during Earth week (however they are now held in the fall).

“Our Earth week has really expanded,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt also says that students should treat college like a job and show up prepared  everyday and you will be successful. Schmidt also says to remember that speech is the most useful class that you will take in college.

“If you can’t communicate your great ideas, what good will they do you on a job. If you can’t communicate about your feelings to someone what kind of a relationship are you going to have. It is important.”

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