My name is Sean Denny, and everyone has always either called me Sean or Denny. Now I get to add the title of professor to the list. By the way, I don't care how far you get in life, how many degrees you get, or how much money you make, your mother will still call you "Sean Daniel Denny" in that tone when she is upset/annoyed/frustrated with you.
I think of myself as an educator, social entrepreneur, author, veteran, outdoorsman, theologian, husband, and father (my wife of 23 years and my four children). I am here because I absolutely love education; however, I had a late relationship with higher education and have recently made the jump from secondary education to higher education. When I am not on campus I can generally be found somewhere in the lab (I really enjoy my subject matter), or with my family.
My first career kind of started when I was 17 years old when I joined the Navy. For two years I trained to be a Nuclear Engineer Machinist Mate. I learned all about the mechanics of running a nuclear propulsion system on a carrier or submarine. Unfortunately, I would not be able to go further because in 1994 I developed a brain tumor that forced an early retirement. Don't worry, it's nothing super serious and I am fine, I just could not go any further with the Navy. That life experience taught me that no matter how well you plan, sometimes those plans don't work out the way you think. Plan well, but hold those plans loosely so that no matter what happens you are able to adjust and grow.
So I had to make a shift in plans. Don't sweat it too much if this happens to you, life doesn't get easier as you go, but you do get better at handling difficult situations. So I made a jump into college where I eventually got my degree in Education and Physics. The cool thing was that now I didn't just know how things worked, but I also had a deeper understanding of why they worked the way they did. Graduate degrees followed and in 2024 I will finish my Ph.D. studies involving retention of Gen Z students in colleges and the workplace.
I have been a high school instructor and college adjunct in physics, engineering, automation, and robotics for the last 23 years. I have worked and consulted with industry and government leaders at different levels throughout my career. I love this stuff and I hope it shows when I am in the classroom. I decided to teach, as a full-time faculty member, in this department at EMCC because It meshes my technical abilities with my education. I also look forward to working with industry leaders to develop the Energy Institute at EMCC. To sum up my expectations and growth over the years, I will leave you with this thought. "The notes of the professor should never become the notes of the student without dwelling in the minds of either."