The Circuitous Path of a Math Instructor

Jon Franzen

Jon Franzen, Adjunct Math Instructor

Who would have thought that the career path for one of our Globe University-Sioux Falls math instructors would have included being a basketball coach and working on a movie set–in Montana, no less?!

That’s right; before he started instructing our students at Globe University-Sioux Falls, Jon Franzen coached basketball and found himself in Montana, where he worked as a security guard on the set of a Tom Cruise movie called “Far and Away” in the early 1990s.

He grew up in Aberdeen, S. D., and like most people from there, developed a fondness for the outdoors, hunting and fishing at an early age. And while in high school, Jon developed an interest in coaching. After high school, he went to Northern State University and got a B.S. in mathematics.

After graduation, Jon worked for several years in the business world. During this sojourn as a business person, he discovered several things about himself; first and foremost, he hated the business world and he really missed coaching. He also realized that if he wanted to coach, he had to teach, and he re-discovered his passion for the outdoors. To pursue these things that sparked his passion, he found teaching and coaching jobs in the western U.S.

Soon, his natural curiosity and his desire to grow in his profession led him to obtain a master’s degree. He took coursework at universities in many cities, including Seattle, Wash., Greeley, Colo., and Billings, Mont. He eventually received his Master of Science Degree at Northern State University.

Here at the Globe University-Sioux Falls campus, Jon is well respected by both students and faculty.  

Anne Burch, a massage therapy student, says that Jon “…is always available to answer any students’ question and he engages the students in his method of teaching.  He encourages the students to ask questions and is willing to help. He always comes in early to help those of us who are struggling, and if you can’t pass the class, it is your own fault.”

Fellow faculty member Laureen Mehlert says, “He really shows the ‘We Care’ attitude toward his students. Often, I hear his students comment that he is one of the Globe instructors that will continue to explain a topic until there is complete understanding, which our students really appreciate.  In addition, they have spoken about how comfortable they are in asking him questions, in or out of class.”

If you haven’t yet had the chance to meet Jon and you see him around, introduce yourself and shake his hand. He’s quite an asset, and you will enjoy getting to know him!

Submitted by Doug Murdock, Campus Librarian