Faculty Spotlight with Dr. Scott Hamm
(ABILENE, Texas) — Dr. Scott Hamm was originally a ministry major and chose to join the online education field because it gave him the opportunity to reach beyond his geographic location. It allowed him to take his Christian mission anywhere.
No one plans for a pandemic. However, coupling the great infrastructure the university has in place, and with the expertise of Director of Online Education, Dr. Scott Hamm, Hardin-Simmons University has successfully sailed through the transition from in-person education to online education. Hamm, a six-year HSU faculty member, helped the university complete a normally 10-week transition process, rapidly assisting faculty in making these changes in less than two weeks.
Hamm’s first job after college was working as a counselor in a maximum security facility for boys. If asked at the time to pick another professional path, he would go into full-time ministry.
“I feel like my calling really, is to equip other people to serve in ministry,” he said.
Talking about the transition from in-person to online education, he explains that he embraces both online and in-person learning.
“There’s a difference between an online course and taking a face-to-face course and making it available to students remotely,” he said.
Hamm says the key to the transition is the desire of HSU faculty to provide continued learning to its students. He says it wasn’t easy equipping all the professors with the right skills, but with a lot of training, patience, open labs, and the readiness of faculty to make sure learning continued as soon as possible, he and his office were able to make it happen.
The most challenging part of his job, Hamm says, is self-management.
“Having so many roles and hats to wear, time management and self-management and ensuring spending your time on the ‘right things’ are the most challenging things,” he said.
Another challenge, he says, is the ability to continuously maintain a clear vision when faced with multiple crises. One should know what they are there to do, and “know what your unique gifts are to bring to your role.”
The best parts, however, are his interactions with students and faculty, watching the whole learning process happen.
“The most rewarding thing is seeing students at the end of the semester reflect and talk about how much they’ve learned and how they can now apply new skills or how they see things differently,” he said. “Seeing the evidence of change. Seeing people take what you’ve taught them and actually put it into practice is very fulfilling.”
When he’s not working or studying for another degree, Hamm does a bit of renovation, remodeling, landscaping, and yard work in and around his house. He is also very active in his church, as he continues to pursue his passion to reach others through ministry.
“When called to serve, remember, when you make the decision to be a servant, you don’t get to choose your task, you choose whether or not to serve,” said Hamm.