You'd never know by looking at him. George Swindell is a sharp, professional and exceptionally capable teacher. Yet just below the surface is the same kid who loves World of Warcraft and Harry Potter. A&M-Commerce gave him the tools and mentorship he needed to transform his passions into a profession. His latest project, “Exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” allows freshmen to recognize the lessons and literature of J.K. Rowling. The studious professor and enthusiastic gamer are one in the same. When he's not teaching or gaming, Swindell spends his time with his American Eskimo.
A Conservation With George
What would you tell a student who is thinking about attending A&M-Commerce?
From personal experience, A&M-Commerce has been a blessing and I enjoy being a part of the Lion pride. The classes are small enough that students can get individual educational experience to help them grow. If research is your passion, there are a multitude of professors who are always active in their respective fields. The faculty have a passion to see students succeed in the classroom and in their future goals. Outside the classroom, the campus also offers a welcoming environment for everyone. A&M-Commerce has a plethora of student-led organizations, intramural sports, guest speaker events and so much more.
What makes you passionate about your discipline?
I think my passion is multi-dimensional and revolves around teaching. When I am in a psychology class, I enjoy challenging students to ask questions rather than take the information at face value. I have a personal motto: one cannot know if one does not ask. Similarly, when I am in a mathematics setting, I thrive on getting to see my students experience the ‘ah-ha' moments in class. Watching a student grow from struggling with a concept to being able to explain it to their peers is magical. When I hear success stories from previous students, I get a reminder of why I chose to go into education.
Tell us about an academic project you are working on or recently completed.
I have several minor projects that I am always juggling on my own time. I have a passion for research on gaming, like a previous project on first impressions of usernames. In a nutshell, I started to wonder about the first impressions people have when they interact with others online while playing video games. This is what sparked the research. Well, that and anytime I can play World of Warcraft and call it research is a win-win in my book.
I also teach a signature course titled “Exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” The course is about the types of lessons we can take away from some of the stories within the Harry Potter universe. I am hopeful that my passion for the series will help future students enjoy the concepts that we end up covering and embrace the magic.
- M.S., Psychology, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2016
- M.S., Mathematics, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2014
- B.S., Psychology, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2011
- Assistant Professional Track Faculty, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2015–present
- Adjunct, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2015-present
Awards and Honors
- Excellence in Service to Students Award, The National Society of Leadership and Success, 2012
- The National Society of Leadership and Success
- Psychology-Counseling Graduate Student Association
- Mathematical Association of America
- Beard, J., Shelton, R.D., Stevens, A., Swindell, G. & Green, R.J. (2010). Student-guided thesis support groups. Honors in Practice, 6. 69-72.