Spartans of UD: Franklin Yartey

May 2, 2018 | University Relations staff

Spartans of UD highlights what makes University of Dubuque special – the people who live, work, and study on campus. Franklin Yartey, PhD, is an associate professor of communication. He has been a UD Spartan since August 2012.

Spartans of UD: Franklin Yartey
Associate Professor of Communication

1. Why did you decide to become a UD Spartan?

“I decided to be a UD Spartan because my education in the United States started in a small mid-western city of about 6,000 people. The college that I attended had about 1,300 students. I received personal attention from professors, everybody knew my name, and I felt valued. My goal was to replicate these experiences for students here at UD. Most importantly I connected with the mission and vision of UD. I also wanted to continue to grow in my faith (a journey that began at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa).”

2. What drew you to a career in teaching communication?

“I remember the first time I was climbing a staircase at Indiana State University to teach my first class ever. That was back in 2006. I kept saying to myself ‘what have I gotten myself into?’ The overhead projector also failed that day, but I fell in love with teaching. I enjoy sharing what I know but even more, I love learning from my students because I believe teaching is a symbiotic process. It is also important to add that throughout my education here in the United States, God was good to me in providing me with academic advisors and professors who also inspired me to teach. They are Bala Musa, PhD, Azusa Pacific University; David Worley, PhD, formerly Indiana State University; Radhika Gajjala, PhD, Bowling Green State University; Ellen Gorsevski, PhD, Bowling Green State University; and Lynda Dee Dixon, PhD, Bowling Green State University. I would not be where I am today without these educators and mentors. Apart from my love for teaching and learning, the individuals above are a part of the reason why I fell in love with teaching. They exemplify passion, integrity, and love for teaching, and they genuinely care for their students.”

3. How would you describe your teaching style?

“My identity, teaching experiences, and life experiences have shaped my approach to educating students. I love to create an affirming communication climate, because I strongly believe students learn better when they are comfortable in class and when their professor models respect in the classroom.”

4. You and Michelle Grace, assistant professor of communication, guided your students in event planning and communication classes in hosting Variety Bingo, a fundraiser for Empower Nepali Girls, on April 24. Around 40 students hosted the fundraiser to raise money for the non-profit organization with a mission to empower and support neglected, marginalized, and at-risk girls and young women in Nepal. What was it like for you to see students work together to raise money for Empower Nepali Girls?

“Students took charge of the fundraising efforts, and they helped raise money and awareness for Empower Nepali Girls on campus. It was so inspiring to see college students exemplify what it means to live a life of purpose by serving others. Here at the University of Dubuque we strive to be good stewards of ‘all God’s human and natural resources’ (UD: Mission, Vision, Values) and to practice Christian love. Our students showed commitment to the mission, vision, and values of the University of Dubuque, and we are incredibly proud of them.”

5. In your spare time, you like to play chess. What is it about the game of chess you enjoy?

“For the past two years, I have played at least two games of chess a day. I love the challenge and complexity of playing chess with random people around the world.  My colleague, John Haman, assistant professor of communication, and I always have an ongoing chess game.”