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James U. Dyer


Associate Professor of Science

B.A. Wabash College
M.P.M. ITT Tech
M.A. Ball State University
Ed.D. Ball State University

When did you begin teaching at Corban and why?

After my wife, Dr. Sang-Eun Dyer, came to Corban in 2006, I began looking for the opportunity to join her. I did not have to wait long. I was fortunate enough to accept a position the following year with the Math and Science Department.

What is your background? What did you do prior to Corban?

My journey had many twists and turns, but the latest stretch was filled with wonderful faith and experience building teaching positions. A Cliff Notes® version is: Begin in Indiana (Sylvan Learning Center, various middle/high schools (as substitute), IVY Tech, ITT Tech, and Ball State U.)… Go west and stop in Oregon (Western Oregon U. and finally Corban).

What church do you attend or pastor to?

My wife, daughter and I have been attending Salem Alliance Church since moving to Salem in 2007.

What organizations do you belong to? (Doesn’t need to be Corban affiliated.)

Currently, I am a member of NSTA (National Science Teachers Association).

Do you have any published work? If so, when and what was it? If it is more than 10, give me the total number (or approximate) and names of up to five you would like to list. What are some of your professional accomplishments?

Dyer J.U., Towns M. and Weaver G.C., (July 11, 2007), Physical Chemistry in practice: evaluation of DVD modules, Journal of Science Education and Technology.

Dyer J.U., (2005), Evaluation of physical chemistry in practice (PCIP) DVD modules, Doctoral thesis, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana.

Dyer J.U., (Summer 2004), ‘Wet’ and ‘Dry’ Moons, The Hoosier Science Teacher.

How long have you been married (if applicable) and who are you married to? How many children do you have and what are their ages?

My wife and I were married on a beautiful summer day… August 14th, 2004. Our daughter, Iris, was born in 2008 and our son, Isaac, in 2010.

Do you have a life verse? If so, what is it and why?

There are certainly many awesome verses that speak to me more clearly at certain times of need. There are two that come to mind at the moment (and I believe I need both of them to keep me better balanced).

“23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24

Not the second “balancing” passage I mentioned, but one I feel like sometimes when adhering to the Colossians passage is this strangely similar, but poignantly different passage: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” Ecclesiastes 9:10 (My emphasis added, in italics.)

The (real) second is: “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” I occasionally suffer from extreme cases of inertia. You might think that this means that when I am doing basically nothing, like “vegging out” watching TV (or more likely channel surfing) I have a propensity to keep doing that for an extended period of time unless an external force, e.g. wife, alters my course. And you would be partially right. The other extreme is true. If I am busy doing something highly demanding, like digging out large bushes or clearing out large blackberry patches, I tend to keep chugging along (insert chants of “I think I can… I think I can… I think I can…” here) until either the job is complete or my wife (again) has to call me inside because it is too dark (or dinner is ready).

The short story is, verse one helps me get up and go, while the second helps me slow down and stop. With wisdom and discernment, I can keep it in balance. Lacking either of those, I have a wife to lean on. :-)

Why do you like teaching at Corban?

Why not? There are at least three levels to this question that immediately come to mind. 1) Why “teaching” and not something else. The answer, in short is, I love teaching (It is my calling… There is a story in there somewhere.) 2) Why at a university (post-secondary level) rather than a middle or high school. I love the college (University) level because I like to be able to tell the students that “There are two sides to that (classroom) door. If you want to have some fun learning chemistry, you are welcome to stay on this side. If not, you can go on the other side.” Basically, the students are adults now, with the freedom to choose to come to class or not. I assume they are there because they want and/or choose to be. 3) Why Corban (a distinctly Christian school) rather than a secular school? There is much more freedom to speak the truth about God and who I am in Him. It was frustrating and taxing in the secular schools where there was a “smothering” almost palpable anti-Christian vibe at the faculty/administration level. Oh, don’t get me wrong. There were many individually nice and accepting colleagues of me personally, but I generally would not feel comfortable sharing my faith in those environments without risking some sort of professional backlash. The students were a completely different story. I intentionally self-disclosed enough of my faith, indirectly and explicitly, for them to know my stance. This was generally followed by appreciation, acceptance, and deeper conversations. So, in short… a freedom to teach and be me.

What are your hobbies or outside interests?

Since 2008… being a daddy. If my wife and I can get a moment of alone time, away from offspring and away from schoolwork, we like to watch Korean Dramas. My wife is from Korea (surprise!) It is neat way to learn about my wife’s culture and history. Oh, yeah, also... anything outside is generally good, e.g. riding bicycle (now with a trailer), and going to the park (especially to the splash area). One more thing… watching NFL games. Go COLTS!!!