Faculty Spotlight Series – Professor Nick Dorzweiler

Name: Nick Dorzweiler
Position: Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies
Years at Wheaton: 5
Hometown: Oregon City, Oregon
Education: University of Oregon (BA), Northwestern University (MA and PhD)

What one thing do you miss most from campus?
Far and away, my in-person interactions with students. While my students and I have all been doing our best with remote learning – and much of it has been good! – I’ve realized that there really is something uniquely exhilarating when working together, in person, on some pressing question or problem. But there are also some smaller things I miss from campus: my books; new leaves on the trees in the Dimple; reading outside on a bench in the spring weather.

What are you currently watching on TV or reading?
I feel like I should say something refined, like Blue Planet or Proust or something. But, in fact, I’ve been watching a copious number of kid’s shows with my toddler during the day (Storybots, My Little Pony, Octonauts), and quaint BBC murder mysteries in the evening (Father Brown, Midsomer Murders). It’s great. My reading list, I hasten to say, is somewhat less embarrassing. I’m in the midst of research for a book project on the midcentury political scientist Harold Lasswell, so I’ve been combing through his writings on psychopathology and politics.

What is the best way to stay connected with others?
I have to say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy “getting together” with friends over Zoom. It’s not as fun as hanging out all together, in person, but it’s not bad. And what is particularly cool is that I’ve had some online hangouts with friends living around the country that I hadn’t seen in years. Now that everyone is social distancing, it seems less weird to get in touch with friends living far away.

What is the worst thing about being in quarantine?
Spending virtually every waking moment with my three-year-old daughter in our small house.

What is the best thing about being in quarantine?
Spending virtually every waking moment with my three-year-old daughter in our small house.

What is your favorite Wheaton memory?
There are so many to choose from, but the first one that popped into my mind was the time a former student of mine let me ride his motorized skateboard.

What is your favorite event to attend at Wheaton College?
For the past two years, I’ve been organizing a student/faculty reading group that meets once a month to read and discuss contemporary scholarship that cuts across the fields of political science and gender studies. I always look forward to those monthly meetings – it’s so fun to work with and learn from students outside the traditional class format, on stuff that all of us are passionate about.

What is your favorite place on the Wheaton College Campus?
I really like my cozy office, but, to my mind, there’s nothing better than reading a book in one of those blue Adirondack chairs on the Dimple, at about 4:30pm on one of the first warm days of spring.

What is your most cherished possession?
There are a few things that hold a lot of sentimental value for me, but I’m particularly attached to my vinyl record collection. I pretty much always have music on, it’s always made me feel like a house is “home-ey.”

Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to write without concern for how others will judge it. Also, knot-tying.

If you weren’t teaching your current discipline what would you teach?
I know this is kind of weird, but I think if I could have two lifetimes to pursue two different professional careers, I would study human physiology and practice sports medicine.