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Seniors’ Top Three: Student Recommendations of Professors to Take or Not to Take

By: Brianna Lopez 

Seniors have given a lot to the Barry community, from joining clubs, tutoring lower classmen, and sharing their intellectual ideas through papers and theses. 


Now, seniors have told The Buccaneer which professors they would recommend to other students, and which professors they think could use some improvement.

Among the top three recommended professors is Dr. Laura Finley, who teaches many criminology and sociology courses at Barry. Dr. Finley was recommended by criminology major Kassandra Guerrero, who listed Dr. Finley as her “#1 recommendation.”

Dr. Laura Finley - Photo from BainBridgeIslandReview.com

“Dr. Finley is absolutely amazing, knowledgeable and entertaining,” said Guerrero. 

She further discussed Dr. Finley’s involvement outside of the classroom, when she performs in the theatre or works with non-profit organizations. 

“Her best quality would have to be her humble nature,” Guerrero concludes. 

Her constant willingness to help others in any way possible is what landed Dr. Finley a spot as Guerrero’s number one recommendation.

On the opposite end, Guerrero gears students against a computer science teacher who no longer works at Barry. Guerrero said that this professor was nice, but often made the class feel uncomfortable due to her arguments with certain students. 

“Both parties had faults,” said Guerrero regarding the arguments. “But her unprofessional approach to students acting out was her worst quality.” 

While Guerrero believes the material was taught well, she is normally more engaged in class. In this one, however, she said she remained “a mouse.”

Another senior, Jonathan Dominique is a sports management major, who most recommends Professor Michael Bill. Dominique took biology with Professor Bill, and he recalled enjoying his teaching style.

“I was thoroughly impressed that he always provided a note sheet on every chapter we went over,” said Dominique. Professor Bill even bolded key terms to show what students should prioritize when studying for quizzes and exams.

On the contrary, Dominique does not recommend Dr. Gayle Workman, with whom he took facilities and recreational management, and a sports law course. This is because of the lack of resources Dr. Workman gave to her students. 


Dr. Brenda Schoffstall - Photo from Barryuniversity.com

“We would never get some of our quizzes back to study,” said Dominique. They were also never provided with the PowerPoints used in class to study for any quizzes, midterms or finals. 

The final professor recommendation comes from biology major Arin Blake, who recommends Dr. Brenda Schoffstall to any student, regardless of what year they are. Dr. Schoffstall teaches first-year biology courses as well as parasitology and her own research courses. 

Dr. Schoffstall earned this recommendation for being enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the content she teaches. Further, she truly loves the content she’s teaching, and this is evident through her lessons. 

“Although I have not taken any of her classes recently,” Blake adds, “she has not forgotten my name and continues to say hello and inquire about how I am doing whenever we see each other in passing.”

For Blake, Dr. Schoffstall played a big role in furthering her love for biology and research. 

The professor Blake would least recommend is Dr. Allen Sanborn, who teaches animal behavior, zoology, and human physiology. 

While Blake believes Dr. Sanborn is very strict and teaches a demanding curriculum, she notes that she doesn’t think it is impossible to succeed in his classes. 

“It takes a lot of time, studying, and commitment but nothing is impossible,” said Blake. Blake recommends that students do not take his classes simultaneously with other extremely demanding courses.

As their final gift to Barry, these seniors have given their top three recommended professors in addition to professors they believe students may want to steer clear of. To seniors, students remaining at Barry say thank you. *

*Disclaimer: Any thoughts expressed in this article are that of the student body and not of The Buccaneer itself. 

The Buccaneer