Get to Know Your Fellow Faculty Members...One By One
Kent, tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in the thriving metropolis of Windfall, Indiana – population 708. After high school, I attended Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology where I earned by BS in chemistry before heading south to Auburn University for my PhD in inorganic chemistry. I moved to Sacramento, California in 2005 where I spent five years teaching as an adjunct professor and “freeway flyer” at four different colleges & universities before getting my first full-time position at Fresno City College. We spent three happy years in Fresno before moving to Oceanside in 2014 to start all over again at MiraCosta College. (I was one year away from tenure!)
While in Sacramento, I met my wife, Kyongok (or Kim) who is originally from South Korea but grew up in Sac. We adopted our niece, Isabel, five years ago when she was 12–hard to believe she’s now a 17-year old high school junior at Tri-City Christian! We had our son, Connor, in Fresno and our daughter, Chloe, after moving to Oceanside. Connor is 3 ½ and attends the MiraCosta Child Development Center, while Chloe is 1 ½.
What was your last big adventure?
This past summer 15 members of the McCorkle clan (parents, sister’s family, cousin’s family, and my family) spent two weeks in Alaska. The first half we spent visiting Fairbanks, Talkeetna, Denali National Park, and Anchorage by land before taking a seven-day cruise down the Inside Passage. It was great but the biggest adventure was surviving two weeks of crazy schedules with our routine-loving little ones!
What do you do for fun?
I love traveling, visiting new places, trying new foods, and having new experiences. I dream of one day being able to slow travel the world full-time with my family, spending months in various locations to really experience the cultures, homeschooling our kids along the way. But for now, I settle for leading short-term study abroad trips to the UK, Sweden & Denmark, while building a side business called BareBaby Organics that may one day fund our adventures. It sounds like work, but entrepreneurship and building a business is fun to me and a nice break from grading!
What brought you to MiraCosta?
My wife & I spent our first anniversary in San Diego visiting friends and enjoying the climate. After that trip we said that if we ever got a chance, we’d like to live in the San Diego area. Fast-forward several years and I’m happily working at Fresno City College when I see a job posting for a school I’d never heard of called MiraCosta College in a town I’d never heard of called Oceanside. After checking a map, I realized it was in the greater San Diego area so I took a shot, applied, and got the position! We moved down at the end of July, 2014.
How did you get into teaching chemistry?
After several years of being cooped up in a lab doing research during graduate school, I realized that 30 more years of that would suck the life right out of me. But I really enjoyed my time as a TA working with students. That got me thinking about teaching instead of research. Then one day on a whim, I emailed the dean at the local community college in Sacramento to ask about what it would take to teach there. Turns out the requirements were a PhD and a pulse (mostly a pulse!) because I started the next week! Hard to believe that was over ten years ago now!
If you weren't a professor, what would your career be?
If someone would pay me to explore the world and new cultures, I’d like that gig. Unfortunately, those jobs seem hard to come by. But over the past few years I’ve really come to enjoy the challenges and potential of entrepreneurship, so I would continue pursuing the creation of businesses like BareBaby Organics, the skincare company we launched last April.
What do you appreciate about the Faculty Assembly?
I’ve always appreciated the FA’s role in things like contract negotiations, maintaining our benefits, etc. But since joining the FA last semester, I’ve seen firsthand the dozens of other things the FA does on our behalf. They are the watchdogs who continually keep an eye out to ensure full-time faculty are treated fairly and equitably, not only in regards to salary & benefits, but also in areas like workload creep, the evaluation process, student grievances, new administrative directives, and much, much more. The FA is truly our #1 advocate!
Other Articles in the February 7, 2017 Newsletter :
Know the College Absence Policy
One Way of Confronting Our New Political Reality: FACCC
MiraCosta Bond, Where Do We Go From Here?
Know Your Faculty Rights (revisited topic)