A Rewarding Recipe

Posted by cservaes on March 12, 2012 in "Academic Programs", Alumni, Indiana, "Jeffersonville Campus", psychology, "School of Arts and Sciences" Like many growing boys, Scott Turner grew up raiding the kitchen at every opportunity, especially when his parents were away. But unlike his peers, Scott wasn’t looking for pizza and chips; he was looking for flour and sugar. And eggs and butter and chocolate and vanilla. Several hours later, his parents would return to find a beautiful made-from-scratch dessert. “I liked to surprise my parents,” Scott remembers. As time went on, his kitchen adventures fed not only his parents, but his culinary passion. Scott continued to cook for his family until he left home. He began cooking professionally in the Maryland/DC area and supplemented his experience by installing and servicing commercial kitchen equipment. He remembers repairing appliances in some of the East Coast’s top restaurants and thinking, “Those trained chefs are having more fun than I am!” With that epiphany, Scott quit his job, moved to Kentucky, and enrolled at Sullivan University in Louisville, eventually earning associate degrees in baking and pastry arts, and in culinary arts management. After ten years as a professional chef in Kentucky and Grand Cayman, Scott returned to Sullivan as a chef instructor. He taught for seven years, then determined to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology. “I wanted to grow and be a better teacher. I wanted to understand my students as whole persons in the context of an education environment.” Scott had frequently driven by Ottawa University’s Jeffersonville campus, so he decided to stop in. “I met with Walter Crox and Peg Gernand and was immediately impressed. From the beginning, they told me what to expect, and they always believed in me. They didn’t sell me a school; they made me part of a family.” The sense of family deepened as Scott developed relationships with students, faculty and other staff members, and their encouragement was a boon. “I spent a lot of time in front of my computer, but I never felt alone. There was always someone to talk to, through e-mail or a phone call, or down the road on campus.” In 2010, Scott completed his psychology degree, and in 2011 he was awarded a master’s degree in education intervention. Was it worth it? “Absolutely. I’ve taught for eleven years, so it was helpful to have a student’s perspective again. It was a time of personal discovery and the courses were excellent. I can now better understand and help the students I am teaching.” His coursework is complete, but the OU experience continues. “Patrice [Fess] does a great job of keeping alumni in touch, and I still see Walter and Peg every couple of months. I love everything about OU,” said Turner. Scott Turner found OU’s learning community to be a rewarding recipe lacking only one ingredient: “My single complaint is that the school doesn’t offer a doctorate program. That would be the icing on the cake.”