Because the concern he shows makes his students feel loved, and his Wheaties-themed office makes them feel comfortable, Dr. Joshua Price has established a reputation as a professor who genuinely cares for his students.
Joshua Price, an assistant professor of economics and finance, has been a professor at SUU for the past five years. Before his time here in Cedar City, he attended BYU and Cornell, and taught at the University of Texas, Arlington.
Price originally wanted to be an attorney but after his first statistics class his junior year in college, he was hooked.
Since being here at SUU, Price spends his days preparing students for the future.
“I think students need to be challenged in the classroom,” Price said. “Sometimes with these problems that we give students, it’s a challenge and they don’t know how to answer it. But they do have the tools to be able to answer it.”
Price knows that in the real world, his students will be given problems they don’t know how to answer, so his approach is to allow students the opportunity to learn in the classroom to prepare them for those real life situations.
“In my classes I try to give [my students] the skill set to know how to address a problem where they don’t know what the answer should be and then defend that answer as being important,” explained Price. “The idea is to give them that chance and opportunity to learn and answer their questions.”
Even though Price’s classes may seem overwhelming to some, he tries to incorporate unique teaching techniques to help make the class exciting and interesting for his students.
“I teach a math course, and I don’t know if you know this, but math can be really boring,” said Price. “Every Friday I try to bring music to the classroom that coincides with the topic we are talking about at the time.”
For example when teaching concave and convex functions, the first song Price plays is “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.
“I think anything you can do in the classroom to liven it up, to make it more interesting, is a good idea,” said Price. “We just try to bring some fun music to make class enjoyable.”
At the end of every semester Price gives his students the most bittersweet pep-talk ever given. Price tells all of his students to fail.
“My last lecture of every semester is, ‘What I want for you is to fail,’” Price said. “It sounds really bad but I think one thing we need to realize is that every endeavor we take in life we are going to have successes and failures and most time the outcome is independent of anything we personally do. I think the classroom is a great way to help build the resiliency to know that just because the effort I put in didn’t get the result I wanted doesn’t make me a failure.”
Price tries to not only challenge his students but also takes an interest in their lives.
Christopher Dimond, a junior marketing and economics major from Tremonton, was one student that Price had a personal impact on.
“[Price is] probably the best professor I have ever had,” said Dimond. “I woke up everyday excited to go to microeconomics not because of the subject necessarily but because Professor Price is just a terrific professor and he lectures incredibly well.”
The cherry on top of the “price cake” is an end of the semester ice cream party.
“Every semester we invite our students to Casa de Price for an ice cream party,” said Price. “We do this to let students know that while I am a professor, we can maintain a healthy relationship to help them achieve their goals.”
When Price is not in the classroom, you can find him in his office with what he says is probably the biggest wheatie box collection in the state of Utah, or playing intramural sports with other faculty and staff members.
Overall, Price enjoys being a part of the T-bird Nation.
“SUU is a great place,” Price said. “Some of the students are fantastic, and some are even more fantastic.”
Story by: Cassidy Harmon
Photo Courtesy of Cassidy Harmon and Joshua Price