Rebecca Hunt wanted to major in education. However, she attended college during a time when there was a saturation of teachers in the market, so she completed her bachelor’s degree in business. “But that did not deter me from going back to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in library sciences and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction,” she said.
Hunt acknowledges her mother, her college counselor, and her chemistry teacher as having had the most influence on her decision to enter the profession. When Hunt was a junior in high school, her college counselor discouraged her from applying to schools. “She said I was not college material,” Hunt explained. “When my mother found out, she burst into the counselor’s office and told my counselor she was supposed to help students get into college and that she was not doing her job.”
The following year, Hunt enrolled in a chemistry class with the first African American teacher she ever encountered during her K-12 education. “I will never forget his teaching, which I really enjoyed. So I found out where he went to college and applied to the same school.”
Although Hunt did not start teaching right away, she stayed close to her passion—reading books and helping others find the ones they needed. Hunt managed a Walden Books in Ohio until the store closed down, which proved to be a silver lining as she was able to finally attend graduate school. Since then, Hunt has worked as a school librarian, a dean of students, a vice-principal, and an assistant professor of instructional technology.
Currently Hunt teaches graduate courses in technology, and library and information science in a hybrid delivery format. The majority of her students are working full-time while they are enrolled in a master’s degree program. Hunt said she understands the difficulties her students face balancing family, work and school demands.
“I like to share parts of my personal stories with students, so they know that they are not alone—we laugh, we exchange stories,” Hunt said about creating a supportive learning environment. “I tell them my job is to present the content and to provide any resource they may or may not need.”