Having spent the past 24 years teaching American politics and political thought, David Cochran, Ph.D., has grown fond of Loras College. While his destination has worked out well, the journey to Dubuque was a bit uncertain.
“I had a map on my kitchen wall with a pin everywhere I applied for a job,” Cochran said. “It was like a hundred jobs and Loras was one of them. I guess it was fate that led me here.”
Coming from the University of Maryland, where he earned his Master’s Degree and doctorate, the professor of politics found his new location to be an immediate fit.
“When I arrived on campus, I got a really good vibe right away, a kind of friendly but serious and down to earth vibe. It was not the kind of environment that is pretentious or anything like that. I got a good feeling from the professors and the students here.”
During his time on campus, Cochran has been able to observe at least one constant over the years.
“The students have always been down to earth and open to learning. That allows us to create the same kind of culture each year.”
Being a professor of politics, the shifting ideas and changing issues make for an ever-shifting curriculum.
“The types of issues we cover in the classroom change because issues always arise,” he said. “There are new constitutional issues and new international conflict, but we’re always updating our materials to fit the changing times.”
Cochran is a winner of the college’s two campus-wide teaching and leadership awards. In addition to a wide array of articles and book chapters, he is the author or co-author of four books and the co-editor of a fifth. In addition to his work in the Politics Program, Cochran directs the college’s Archbishop Kucera Center for Catholic Intellectual and Spiritual Life.