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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Communication professor pushes students to be ‘creative thinkers’

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Courtesy
Flute photo

Trapped in the monotony of classes, students can quickly become stultified by professors with an ordinary approach to leading a class. But, when it comes to professors who lecture with an invigorated sense of passion and a natural ability to inspire, students will never be caught walking into a classroom without a strong desire to learn — not even at 8 a.m.
Professor David Munson often prefers to be addressed as simply “David,” even to his students. As a lecturer for the Department of Communication, Munson teaches courses including Persuasion, Rhetoric and Power and Argument and Debate, and said he tries to drive home content to cause students to see beyond their own internal issues and to better understand how their decisions affect the world around them. Knowing there is more to his lectures than just the content he teaches, Munson said he feels compelled to push his students farther. 

“When I walk into that classroom, what I really want them to do is to, simple as it sounds, learn how to think,” Munson said. 

Communication junior Emma Drabek said she has taken all three of Munson classes and is now serving as his teaching assistant for COMM 325: Persuasion. Any student who has taken one of Munson’s classes knows if they step up to that challenge, their success will be actualized, Drabek said.

“He pushes me to want to be a more creative thinker and articulate better,” Drabek said.  

Not only do students share time with him, but his coworkers do as well. As a fellow professor and a former advisor to Munson, Nathan A. Crick said he has shared many fine experiences with the enigmatic yet magnetic persona of Munson. 
“As an advisee, David was like the Greek hero Achilles; something like a ball of raging fire that rolls through a valley,” Crick said.  

Munson said he works to push students beyond their limits to make them understand there is a world beyond them and their own problems, and to see beyond themselves.

“You need someone who can make you feel smaller and expand your mind,” Munson said. “When you encounter those people, they might rub you the wrong way, but when you reflect on it, you’re like, ‘That was the best experience I ever got.’” 
Like Socrates, Munson said he functions as a sort of gadfly to his students, biting them where it hurts  to make them realize that they may need to grow. Munson said he is doing more than just teaching content: He is transforming minds; and when students do reflect on the intense learning environment that he provides, they tend to find it was beyond worth it, which his students, including Drabek, said they resonate with. 

“Because of Munson, I do what I feel and follow my heart,” Drabek said. 

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