Joey Hagan(GREENVILLE, N.C. ) — One college professor should be dubbed “Professor of the Year” after he made an unexpected visit to a group of students studying the night before a big exam.
Kristina Mueller was one of the students, hurriedly preparing for her accounting exam last Thursday in the Joyner Library on East Carolina University’s Greenville, North Carolina campus.
The senior accounting student emailed Dr. Doug Schneider at 10:46 p.m. after the four-person study group debated on how to solve a problem, given to them for preparation.
“We were kind of butting heads,” Mueller, 20, told ABC News. “So we said, ‘Why don’t we just email him? If he answers, great! If not, we’ll try to figure it out on our own.”
What the students didn’t expect was for Dr. Schneider to respond and then offer to come to the library and help them in person.
Dr. Schneider, who has been a professor since 1991, told ABC News he didn’t mind the trip.
“I work late quite a bit anyways and the library is not too far from where my office is,” he explained. “It was relatively easy to walk over to the library and I felt it was easier to go and explain the solution … than trying to answer by email.”
Still, the students were shocked.
“I’ve never really had a professor say that to me,” Marissa Flood, who was also part of the study group, told ABC News. “The fact that he even took more time out…to go and help us, I thought it was really good.”
Flood, 21, a senior accounting and marketing major, was so impressed by her professor that she tweeted a now viral photo of the scene.
“Sometimes ya just gotta appreciate professor who do everything possible to help you succeed,” she captioned the photo, which has now been liked nearly 40,000 times on Twitter.
After the impromptu professor-led study session, Flood said the students felt “a lot more confident” for their exam the following day.
“No one expected him to do that,” she added.
But Dr. Schneider didn’t shock his fellow professor, Dr. Stan Eakins, the dean of the university’s college of business.
“I’ve known Doug for more than 20 years, and I’m not surprised he stayed late helping a student,” Dr. Eakins said in a statement. “He’s always been extremely engaged and passionate about making a difference in students’ lives. He is a testament to how we approach learning at the College.”
“I think for many of us, working here is a calling as much as it is a job,” Dr. Schneider emphasized. “I have found that the students here are deserving of my time and best effort.”
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