For Young Professor, Spotlight Reflects Record
Published: Friday, January 21, 2011
Updated: Sunday, January 23, 2011 16:01
But Potolicchio's influence also hits closer to home. He has taught several government courses focusing on religion and communications in politics at Georgetown and has also served as a teaching assistant. He is a three-time Teacher of the Year at the university. On the popular website RateMyProfessors, Potolicchio has an overall quality rating of 4.9 out of 5.
Ryan Dougherty (COL '11), a captain on the men's basketball team, took Potolicchio's Presidential Rhetoric course last semester.
"Sam had a really great way of teaching, and I think the best part of his class is that he uses analogies that anyone can understand," Dougherty said. "He really brings the material down to its most basic elements, removing the clutter that kind of muddles the ability of a lot of undergrads to see the real picture."
With all of his accolades in higher education, one might consider Potolicchio overqualified to teach fifth graders. But according to Potolicchio, it fits right into his method.
"My philosophy is that to be a good educator, you have to be involved in many different points in the educational system to really have that deep knowledge," Potolicchio said.
"Teaching fifth grade also really gets me energized. There is a different kind of energy in a fifth grade Latin classroom where you have these boys jumping up and down," he added. "I'm not going to walk into a Presidential Rhetoric classroom and get hugged and tackled by these students since they have a different kind of energy. Having these different types of passions in different areas is incredibly invigorating."
Potolicchio's trademark energy is not only intellectual, but perhaps biological as well. He admitted that he needs only one to three hours of sleep a night. With so many accomplishments arriving at such a rapid pace, Potolicchio could probably write his own ticket, but he remains attached to Georgetown.
"It's the Jesuit philosophy of someone for others," Potolicchio explained. "I think it's how I want to live my life. I wanted to be a priest because I want to serve others, I briefly thought about public service because I want to serve others and I'm a teacher now because I think this could be my calling in really helping people."
Hoya Staff Writer Becca Nadler contributed to this report.
Correction: This article originally stated that Potolicchio taught in Kosovo as part of The American Institute of Political and Economic Systems. He actually taught in the Czech Republic.