Getting to know Jim Grider
What is your title at Bay College?
I am an Intro to Sociology Instructor at Bay College. I am also the Supplemental Instruction leader for Into to Psychology.
Where are you from?
I was born in Normal, Illinois, thus making me a Normal human being. However, I was raised for the majority of my life in Green Bay, WI.
What school(s) did you attend?
I attended one year at Illinois State University after high school in 1989, but achieved a .85 GPA and they kicked me out of school. I graduated with an Associates in Liberal Studies from Bay College in 2013, and Bachelors in Liberal Arts from Lake Superior State University in 2016, and a Master in Social Work from Simmons University in 2019.
What did you do prior to teaching at Bay?
After getting kicked out of ISU, I joined the Army and served for 21 years. After retiring I was a banker at Wells Fargo for two months before I realized that career path wasn’t for me. I also spent a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA working in the North Dickinson School District. I have taught trumpet and drum lessons at Jim’s Music, fried fish at the Randville Bar and Grill on Friday nights for five years, been a dad to my three daughters.
How long have you been a teacher at Bay College?
I have been an instructor here for a year, but I have also led Supplemental Instruction for over seven years.
What influenced you to pursue teaching? Why?
I have always been an instructor. I taught sergeants how to be sergeants and recruiters how to recruit while I was in the Army. My mother has her Doctorate in Education and I would say that seeing her start college at the age of 43 and obtaining her Doctorate really influenced what I do now. Now we have three generations in my family that are instructors.
Can you tell me a time where you made a huge difference in a student’s life?
The question should really be how the students have made an impact on my life. My stories of students are all of the non-traditional single mothers who are working as CNA's trying to achieve their RN. They have a full-time job, be a mother, get kids to school, attend school themselves, study, and try to maintain sanity. If these are not miracles happening every day, I don't know what is.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
Pat Tillman gave up a multi-million dollar football contract with the Arizona Cardinals to join the Army and serve after September 11. He is my hero.
What are you most thankful for?
My kids. They impress me more and more every day.
What is your favorite part of a thanksgiving meal?
The kids each have one part of the meal that they are responsible for preparing. Turkey and stuffing with about a ton of gravy is my favorite thing to eat.