It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a new Professor!

Hunter Vasey

If you walk into Professor Carlos Acosta-Ponce’s office, you might be surprised at the state of it. The decorations more closely resemble that of a teenage nerd rather than an Assistant professor of English. An overloaded bookshelf full to the brim with comic books on one wall, and a large, vibrant Puerto Rican flag on another. Both are symbols of his upbringing and inspiration of teaching.

He grew up in the small town of Hormigueros, Puerto Rico.  He received his doctorate from the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and moved here to Storm Lake, Iowa with his wife and child. Where he grew up actually very much influenced his move to Storm Lake. Acosta-Ponce recalls that his hometown was much like Storm Lake. In the sense that everyone knew each other and that there was a strong sense of community. However, growing up in Puerto Rico is not the most distinctive thing about this Professor.

The most unique thing about Acosta-Ponce, however, is his teaching style. When asked about his approach to teaching Written Communications, he said this, “A lot of teachers of written com are really committed to this theoretical framework, but they seem to be lacking the component of media literacy, and I’m a big believer that everything we experience in life is mediated.” Therefore, he decided to integrate comic books and graphic novels into his lesson plans. By doing so, it also helps him to be more passionate about the course and its teachings.

“I could teach Hemingway or Jack London, but I’d rather teach something I can have a little fun with,” he elaborated. Professor Acosta-Ponce’s love of comics started extremely young, and he even has a physical copy of the first comic he remembers reading. That comic piece would be called: Fantomas, and although the copy is from 1984 it was published as far back as the 1960s. He keeps it in a pristine plastic sleeve so that he can look back on it and remember his humble beginnings. As for the students he teaches, they appreciate his unique approach. Emma Chase, a sophomore currently taking his writing seminar thought about his ways of teaching, “I really like Professor AP. His teaching style is completely different than many of the professors I have had before, and it feels like a breath of fresh air. He keeps it real, and you can tell that he really cares about his students and their education. Overall, I think he is a great addition to BVU, and I can’t wait to take more classes with him.”

The unique way he approaches his classes lets students connect with the material on an entirely new level, and his passion helps them to find theirs.