Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Engineering Technologies
From a young age, Ian Colquhoun knew he wanted to be involved in education. Several factors, including his mother being a teacher, becoming involved in various leadership positions in high school and being greatly inspired by his professors when he studied at County College of Morris (CCM), influenced his career path.
“I had a lot of good teachers all the way up through college. I always thought what teachers did was awesome,” says Colquhoun.
Colquhoun graduated from CCM in 2001 with an Associate in Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology. He then went on to earn his bachelor’s degree at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). After graduating from NJIT, he worked as a structural engineer, a motorcycle frame and suspension designer and a motorsports engineer, all which required demanding hours. After several years of working 80-100 hours a week, he decided it was time to pursue his dream of teaching. He was hired by CCM as a lab coordinator. Knowing that was a good place to start, he went on to earn his Master of Science in Education. In 2011, after seven years of being a lab coordinator and adjunct professor, Colquhoun was hired as a full-time professor.
Joining the Department of Engineering Technologies and Engineering Science as a full-time teacher was a smooth transition. The desks he used to sit at became the desks of his students. Former professors, who inspired his dream of being an educator, became colleagues.
Recognizing that the smaller class sizes that are found at a community college provide the opportunity to interact more with students, Colquhoun works hard to build relationships and offer guidance. “Whatever they can take from me, I will give 110 percent. We work collaboratively together in order for that to take place,” he says.
In between classes, he finds students end up visiting him to ask questions about the industry, pitch their ideas and even ask for help in other classes. “I find CCM to be more of an inclusive environment,” says Colquhoun. “There’s an opportunity to build a working relationship with your professor.” Being in their shoes not too long ago, he offers students his knowledge on classes, transferring and beyond.
His hope is to encourage students to pursue their career path with vigor as his professors instilled in him. From a CCM student to a CCM professor, Colquhoun sees the big picture of effectively helping students pursue a career in something they love.
“I was fortunate to have been provided with the guidance and support to pursue a field I love,” he notes. “I hope to be able to do the same for my students.”