Aspen invites you to meet our faculty! Our teachers are outstanding educators — committed, compassionate, and knowledgeable. In this series, get to know some of our faculty members up close and personal.
Ocean-lover Robert Campbell is an avid reader and grandfather to 19 — you read that right. 19!!! — who lives for the “aha” moments when doctoral students complete their research.
What is your name? Dr. Robert Campbell, Ed.D.
Where are you from? Currently, I live in Goodyear, AZ. I have lived in AZ since 1959, moving here with my parents, but I would return to the California beaches every summer for the first five years to be close to the ocean that I love. I still miss the ocean and travel to many places near the world’s seas.
Who lives at home with you? My wonderful wife, Ellen, who is an instructor for a local community college and our dog Buster (Cheweenie: dachshund/chihuahua mix). We have been together now for about eight years, combining our families into one.
What would your dog Buster say about you if we asked for a reference? He’d say, “Bob is well trained to all my requests, even without having to bark! We have grown older together and enjoy life.”
What do you teach at Aspen? I am currently teaching for Aspen’s School of Education, but I also teach courses that are shared by other colleges as well. I am one of the first initial facilitators/instructors for those business/education folks who take Leadership Theory. I also help many students through the writing of their dissertations. I’m currently chairing six students and participating on eight other committees. I really enjoy teaching research courses and feel that I have a pretty good sense of how to support both quantitative and qualitative research.
What are some of your favorite hobbies? Before the COVID-19 pandemic, my hobbies included enjoying 19 grandkids and playing very little golf. I still read constantly and eat great food prepared by a gourmet chef (my wife). Working online with students is a daily ritual and one that I could consider that a heartfelt hobby, too.
What inspires you? Seeing my students excel in their learning, and most importantly, watching my doctoral students share their “aha” moments from their completed research. Watching our family continue to grow and change in a very positive direction also gives me hope for the future of the world.
How did you get your start in teaching? This is actually kind of crazy, but during my first semester working toward my bachelor’s degree at ASU, I was going to college without any decision for my future. My basic goal was to stay out of the draft, meaning I would not have to fight in Vietnam in the late ‘60s as long as I was in college. So after basically wasting one semester of classes, I went to the counseling department and took some tests to determine my best options. They told me to be a teacher! It’s thanks to a great counselor and their interpretation of my personality and career inventory that led me to be a teacher.
This degree provided me with the spark of knowing that every day in the classroom, I could touch the lives of my students and work toward a better world for all of us.
Why did you decide to teach at Aspen? I knew our provost, Kevin Thrasher, long before Aspen started. I was having lunch one day with him and found out that he was working at Aspen University. He invited me to write some needed courses and curriculum. From this first connection, I soon was asked to begin teaching a few courses for Aspen, and it has continued to build in my participation with some special committees. Still, my most positive experiences have been working directly with the students in each assigned class and helping through the needed positive communications of support.
What makes Aspen students unique? Aspen students truly match the definition of an adult learner who brings with them a lot of information, and at times, extra baggage, but still knows that they can learn more through each classroom opportunity. They are genuinely goal-driven and are willing to learn as they go.
What should a student expect when enrolling in your course(s)? My students should expect instant communication and support, along with an understanding heart when trials and life sometimes remind us all that we are adults and have many things happening each day.
If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all of your human needs — such as food and water — were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you? First, thank you for making it an island. This means I am by the ocean! I would bring an unlimited supply of books to read, and my wife, who is my partner in life and understanding.