It’s the end of the week (hooray!) and time for another edition of #Faculty Friday. Today’s featured faculty member is James Robertson, associate professor of physics here at PUC. As an undergraduate, Robertson conducted research at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in high-energy physics for their D-zero experiment (if you don’t know what that means, just ask him!). When he’s not in the classroom, Robertson hosts sessions at the College’s Young Observatory, and volunteers with the local fire and ambulance companies, putting his 9+ years of fire/EMS experience to good use. He has also led a strike team of Type 3 engines from Napa County that responded to the wildland fires in San Diego in 2007. Without further ado, here’s Professor Robertson!
Name: James F. Robertson, IV. (Yes, it’s the 4th and my son is the 5th. My family calls me Chip.)
Title: Associate Professor of Physics
Faculty since: 2003
Classes taught: General Physics, Astronomy, Classical Dynamics, Quantum Physics, and some Emergency Services classes as needed.
Education: B.S. Physics (mathematics minor) from Southern Adventist University; M.S. Physics (High-energy Physics) from Florida State University; Currently pursuing a M.S. Emergency Management degree from Jacksonville State University.
What made you decide to be a teacher?
They say the three reasons to become a teacher are: June, July, and August. Seriously though, I have many teachers in my family, but the person that first influenced me to become a teacher was my first-grade teacher. Mr. Luntz became a powerful role-model in my life. I knew I wanted to be like him when I grew up.
What are some of your hobbies?
Amateur (ham) radio, especially building wire antennas. My callsign is K4JFR. I also enjoy tinkering with cars/trucks. I drive a Ford, so I tinker frequently.
What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I taught at Fletcher Academy in North Carolina for nine years prior to coming to PUC. Three of those years I served as the principal.
What’s your favorite thing about PUC?
My favorite thing about PUC is the diversity of the students’ backgrounds. Those differences bring a multitude of individual points of view that is refreshing in an academic environment.
What’s your favorite spot on campus?
Redwood Flats. I used to be the Howell Mountaineers Pathfinder director and loved camping out there. Despite being on campus, it feels like you are many miles away from civilization.
What’s your favorite movie?
“The Great Escape” (1963).
What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
Get to know your academic advisor and meet with them often. Managing your schedule can be difficult and if not planned well, could delay your graduation date.
Cavanaugh, R., R. Marsa, J. Robertson, and R. Hefferlin, Adjacent-DIM-isoelectronic
molecules and chemical similarity among triatomics. J. Mol. Structure, 382, 137-145 (1996).