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From Michigan to San Diego, professor aims to inspire students during pandemic

Posted at 6:49 AM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-30 17:21:28-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Troy Hale, a professor from Michigan State University, is a professor on the road.

“It’s me and the cat and so social distancing is fine. I pull up to places like this where there's no one around me for 400 yards or so," says Hale.

Last month, he traded his office space for the great outdoors when he decided to take a road trip and teach his students virtually as he made his way to the west coast. He’s been documenting it all in a mini YouTube series for his studies, fitting for a broadcast journalism professor.

“I got an iPhone right now on my tripod and mic. and another camera on tripod. That's what I'm teaching my students to do because we could do our work really anywhere at this point,” Hale described.

He recorded all of his lectures last semester and by pairing them with zoom meetings and his docuseries, he found success teaching courses on the road. He said it’s far from anything he’s done in 13 years of teaching.

“It became the norm, it was same thing for every semester and this last year I had to change everything, I re-did entire class. I think my teaching is better, I'm on my phone all the time responding to all the student questions," he said.

He hopes the final destination isn’t just good grades, but ultimately a road map to inspire his students.

"I'm sure we binge watched a lot of Netflix but what are things you can take advantage of now until this pandemic is over," Hale said.

He won’t be teaching on the road forever but he hopes his temporary classroom can drive his students to a road less traveled.

“I was trying to tell them 'hey take advantage of this.' You don't have to do what I'm doing, but if you ever wanted to run a marathon, train now, you have all this time to be able to do that," said Hale.