Dr. Angela Pool-Funai’s first exposure to teaching came during graduate school after spending 15 years working in the nonprofit sector and on the staff side of higher education. That experience as an adjunct instructor was all it took for her to fall in love with teaching.
Pool-Funai earned her Bachelor’s in Journalism and Economics at Stephen F. Austin State University, her Master’s in Public Policy and Administration at Baylor University, and her Doctorate in Public Administration at Valdosta State University in Georgia. Due to her emphasis in public policy and administration, Southern Utah University was a perfect fit to begin her teaching career.
“Some people thought I was crazy when my five sons and I set out on this cross-country adventure, but we enjoy living here very much,” said Pool-Funai.
Now, as the Director of Public Administration and Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, she gets to utilize her extensive experience in the public sector and higher education to bring difficult topics to life for students.
Pool-Funai teaches the following classes:
- PADM 6830 - Readings & ConferencesPADM 6890 - Internship
- PADM 6950 - Professional Project
- PADM 6900 - ThesisPADM 6830 - Readings and Conferences
- PADM 6750 - Special Topics
- PADM 6200 - Public Sector Economics
- POLS 1100 - American National Government
- POLS 3410 - Public Administration
- POLS 3500 - Identity Politics
- POLS 3520 - Civil Rights & Liberties
- POLS 4990 - Seminar/Capstone
After being at SUU for four years, Pool-Funai has come to love the beautiful campus, the bell tower tradition, the cultural opportunities in theatre and music, and of course, SUU football. But the most striking experiences have been with her students.
“Here at SUU I have turned my attention to experiential learning, and for me that’s really where the application comes,” said Pool-Funai. “Students learn content and theory and ideas in the classroom but experiential learning is where they can put them into action and really see how they matter in real life.”
Pool-Funai’s goal in every class is to encourage students to think for themselves and learn to ask the tough questions, guiding them to come to their own conclusions about important issues.
In her short time at SUU, Pool-Funai has already been nominated twice as Professor of the Year and received the Influencer Award in recognition of dedicated service and leadership for the benefit of, and influence on, the lives of SUU students.
One thing that Pool-Funai hopes all of her students learn from her is this:
“It’s okay to be different. Own it. Take a stand for what you believe, but be open to new ideas.”
Her first book, Ethics in Fiscal Administration: An Introduction, is currently in the production process and will be in print by this coming May.
*Writing & Project Management Contributor: Marlie Scott