Faculty Spotlight Series – Professor Justin Schupp

Name: Justin Schupp
Position: Assistant Professor of Sociology
Years at Wheaton: 4
Hometown: Boulder/Longmont, Colorado
Education: B.A. Sociology, Colorado State University; M.A. Rural Sociology, Ohio State University; Ph.D. Sociology, Ohio State University

Where is your favorite spot to work from home?
Ha! This is a complicated question, especially since I was on sabbatical this past semester and a lot of my work has been happening from home. It really depends on what type of work I am doing. If I am writing (either for research or responding to email), I am…in my bed. My bed is so darn comfortable that I spent a good chunk of my writing time there. However, if I’m on a phone call or Zoom/Google Hangout, I head to our guest room/office and sit on a comfortable couch that we have in there. Lastly, with the weather starting to improve, I also like to work in my backyard on a very comfortable lawn chair. I love the fresh air, watching the birds fly around, and have one of my pooches join me in the chair I am in.

What one thing do you miss most from campus?
I miss being able to walk up and down my hallway in Knapton to chat with my colleagues. There are some special and great people on the 3rd floor of Knapton and I can’t wait until I get to see them in-person again.

What are you currently watching on TV or reading?
I have a hard time sitting still, so a lot of my TV watching occurs when I run on my treadmill. I’ve been on a nostalgia kick over the last year and have been re-watching Breaking Bad (so that I could enjoy El Camino fully) and now I’ve started running through Better Call Saul (so I can watch the newest season with all important details intact). In terms of new stuff, I just recently flew through the show Reckoning…I still can’t decide if I liked that show or not.

Books! Now we’re talking! The author that I recently read and am recommending to everyone that asks is Emily St. John Mande. I love both Station Eleven and/or The Glass Hotel. Both were really good, but in full disclosure don’t go anywhere near the former if you want to get away from thinking about the effects of pandemics. Right now, I’m working my way through Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Astrophysics for People in a Hurry because one of my little guys asked how the Big Bang happened. I figured this might have some insight.

What is your favorite thing about working at Wheaton?
The people. Hands down, the people of Wheaton are what makes Wheaton amazing. I love interacting with my faculty colleagues, teaching and learning with students, and the staff at Wheaton are some of the coolest people I’ve met.

What is your favorite event to attend at Wheaton College?
There are a lot of events that I like to attend. Convocation and Commencement are annual favorites. I’ve been invited to the Eco-House potluck every year since I’ve been on campus and this is always a good time.

What is your favorite place on the Wheaton College Campus?
Hmm…tough call. I’ll go with a couple. I love the space in and around the dimple–a great place for a walk and to clear one’s head. I also love being in my office as I slowly try to populate it with as many plants as I have space for. Second, I’m a big fan of taking a moment when I arrive on campus and before I leave for the day to enjoy the wetlands that are right next to Lot 2. I’ve seen many wonderful animals and birds in there, including deer, impressively colorful birds, and the occasional aquatic life.

What do you enjoy outside of work?
Anyone that has had class with me will find no surprise in my two favorite things outside of work. First, I love being with my family (made up by Carly, Zackery (10), and Lukas (8)). They are truly the most amazing people I know. Second, I love playing hockey. I’m a goalie and I find the challenge of playing really fun, even with the occasional injury here and there.

What is your favorite movie?
I don’t think that I have one to be honest. I used to answer this question with the movie Back to the Future, but I recently saw a stand-up special by John Mulaney that removed it from the top spot. Mulaney is right, Back to the Future is a really weird movie.

Do you have pets? What are they?
We have two awesome dogs, Leilek and Nevé. They are both vizslas–which if you’re not familiar with are kinda like weimaraners, but even more energetic. Both my wife and I can take them for back-to-back several mile runs and upon getting home they will do laps in our backyard. It’s amazing!

Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I could draw. In fact, I’ve been trying to teach myself how to, but so far, I’m at best a work in progress.

What is your motto?
Treat people the way you want to be treated. Maybe a little cliché, but this pretty much sums my philosophy in life.

If you weren’t teaching your current discipline what would you teach?
Tie – I’d either be a faculty member in an architecture school -or- a chemist with a specialty on yeast. As an inspiring homebrewer and bread maker, I find this single cell organism so fascinating.