Passion, energy helps professor win award

Paul Schrodt energizes the Department of Communication Studies with his passion, Chair of the Department of Communication Studies Paul King said.

“He is the Energizer Bunny of college professors,” King said. “Always positive, always with a big smile on his face.”

The Philip J. & Cheryl C. Burguieres professor of communication studies received the 2011 Early Career Award from the Interpersonal Communication Division of the National Communication Association.

The award meant a lot to him, Schrodt said, and he was honored to receive it.

Schrodt was the model of an ideal communications professor, King said. He made communication look easy.

Schrodt’s success was due to his passion for he subject, King said, and he loves teaching and talking to students.

Schrodt said that at first, he did not want to be a professor. He was majoring in mathematics at the University of Texas at Arlington.

He then took a communication class and loved it, he said. He switched his major to communication studies, went to graduate school and developed a love for teaching.

“I really feel that God has equipped me with a set of skills,” Schrodt said.

Schrodt said he saw himself as a mentor for his students. He wanted to be able to speak with students at any time, especially if they needed help.

King said that openness made Schrodt very visible.

Senior communication studies major Anthony Hernandez said Schrodt used his own experiences to teach his students.

Hernandez said he never thought about going to graduate school to become a professor but that he now was considering it thanks to Schrodt.

The reason Hernandez listened to Schrodt was because of the professor’s incredible energy, Hernandez said. He said he would recommend Schrodt’s classes to all TCU students.

“It should be a requirement to take Dr. Schrodt’s class,” Hernandez said.

That feeling did not come only from Schrodt’s teaching, but from discussions with him outside of class, Hernandez said. He would talk about anything, especially sports.

Schrodt said talking with students was one of the best parts of his job and that he did not see his job as work.

“Part of my energy comes from [how] I look forward to coming to TCU and to coming to work every day,” Schrodt said.