Title: Chair, Professor
Department: English and Philosophy
In 1969, when Dr. Janet Eber began teaching at County College of Morris (CCM), she was barely out of college, so it was not easy to tell her apart from her students.
“I can remember very clearly the first semester I taught here,” she says. “We had Vietnam veterans on campus and when I was walking to my classroom, one of them came up beside me. We realized we were walking to the same class and he asked, ‘What do you know about the teacher?’ I said, ‘I hear she’s pretty tough.’ He replied, ‘I’ll be able to charm her.’ When we entered the classroom, I walked up to the front of the class and the man, realizing I was the teacher, went beet red.”
More than 40 years later, Eber, chair and professor of the Department of English and Philosophy, still feels enthusiastic about teaching at CCM. “There is no other place I would rather be.” What she finds most rewarding is the connection she makes with her students. Sometimes she doesn’t realize the effect she has on them until decades later.
Changing Lives, Expanding Perspectives
“Many years ago, a very bright student came up to me after the final exam,” she recalls. “I asked her what she was going to do after she graduated. She said, ‘I really want to study psychology, but my family wants me to do something else.’” Eber advised her to follow her passion.
“That was about 25 years ago,” she adds. “About two years ago, I got a letter from her and found she had listened to my advice, pursued a psychology degree to the Ph.D. level and had a successful practice. That blew me out of the water. You don’t get that kind of satisfaction in any other profession in the world.”
Shaping the Life of the College
In addition to teaching, Eber also has played a significant role in shaping the culture of the college. Her most recent contributions include serving as chair for the past five years of the Curriculum Committee, which sets curriculum requirements for the college, and as a member of the College Readiness team, which focuses on student success.
“I believe in the mission and the people of CCM,” says Eber. “I will always be grateful for the opportunity to teach what I love, to grow professionally and to see my students succeed. No one could ask for more.”