Jeremy Harris: Assistant professor of Computer Science and Information Systems, Evangel eUniversity director
March 25, 2012
A former graduate of Evangel’s Music Department, Jeremy Harris has been teaching Computer Science courses at Evangel since 2004. Along with teaching classes, Harris is also the faculty administrator of ANGEL, Evangel’s online learning system.
The multi-talented Harris has a master’s degree in both vocal performance and business administration from Missouri State University. Along with his experience teaching computer information systems courses at Missouri State and Evangel, Harris has been a voice instructor, choral director and church music pastor as well as a performer in operas, choral concerts and solo recitals. Aside from music, Harris enjoys reading science fiction and history books. He is a big fan of all the Star Trek series, and he enjoys collecting electronic gadgets. Harris’ wife, Erica, also works at Evangel as an assistant professor of Biology, and they have three children.
What originally sparked your interest in computer science?
My background was in music. However, I was introduced to computers at an early age. My mother signed me up for a BASIC programming course when I was in 5th grade, and I have always been fascinated with digital technology. During my vocal master’s, I began to teach computer courses as an adjunct for extra money. I enjoyed it so much, and was good enough at it, that MSU asked me to teach full time.
You and your wife Erica were both students here at Evangel. Can you tell me a little bit about how you met?
We actually met in Concert Band (before Concert Orchestra, there was Concert Band). The first time there was an attraction was during the band’s 1993 summer European Tour. She played flute; I sang and played the euphonium/tuba. The following semester we started dating and were married almost two years later.
What brought you back to Evangel to teach?
My wife was already teaching and coordinating the science labs at Evangel while I was working on my MBA. When I graduated, Evangel asked me to come over and teach computer science and oversee the fledging learning management system (at that time WebCT).
What makes taking Computer Science classes at Evangel unique?
As with everything at Evangel, it’s the unique Christian perspective infused and integrated into what we teach and what students learn. The basics of computers are the same whether you learn them at MSU or Evangel, the difference is the vision of use (for Gods’ glory) and the principles that will direct your use of them.
What is your favorite part about working with Evangel students?
The enthusiasm with which the students learn and live. They want to learn the things we can teach them and live the way God wants them to live using that which they’ve learned.
What is your most memorable achievement so far?
Right now, it’s finishing my Ph.D. Hopefully I’ll be finished in the next month or so, and I’ll be very happy (my wife will be, too).
What advice do you have for prospective Evangel students, particularly those interested in Computer Science?
Don’t just look at the what, but look at the how, with the big picture in mind. Like I mentioned, you can learn the basics of computer science anywhere. But, the Christian experience at Evangel (and all you’ll learn through a liberal arts education) will shape who you’ll be for the rest of your life.