Mendocino College Faculty in Focus: Roger Hock
Well-known on campus for his human sexuality course, Psychology professor, Roger Hock, also wrote a best-selling textbook on human sexuality which is used at many colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Although human sexuality is not the only course he teaches, it is clearly one of his most popular classes.
Hock earned his college degrees in San Diego, California, beginning with a BA in Business. He worked in the business world for a while, and although the pay was good, he says, "it was just not for me." He decided to pursue a Master's Degree in organizational psychology at San Diego State University. As part of his Master's program, he had the opportunity to teach two classes of "Introduction to Psychology," and it was this experience which convinced him that teaching was his true vocation. He then enrolled in the Experimental Psychology doctoral program at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Along the way to his doctorate, he also taught psychology classes at Palomar Community College.
When Hock finished his Ph.D. at UCSD, full-time teaching jobs were scarce, so when he was offered a full-time position at a small 4-year college in New Hampshire, he took it. Although it was a tough transition to New England for a California native, he taught there for 10 years, and became a tenured faculty member; however he remained a Californian at heart. He met his wife, Diane, also from California, in New Hampshire, and the couple talked often of moving back to their home state. When they adopted their daughter, Caroline, from China in 1996, they made the decision to return to California, as they wanted to raise her near her grandparents and many other relatives in Northern California.
Hock applied for positions at both 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities around the Bay Area. He chose Mendocino College (MC), because he relished the chance to rebuild a psychology program that was then floundering from the lack of a full-time faculty member at the helm. Over his 12 years at MC the Psychology Program has grown to be the third largest major on campus.
Hock says MC students seem more motivated and goal-oriented today than when he arrived. He attributes this change in part to the economy, which has brought more degree- and transfer-oriented students to MC for their first two years of college. He notes that MC students receive the same level of education as if they had attended a 4-year college right out of high school, but at a fraction of the cost.
Hock says he enjoys the "tremendous diversity" of students in his classes. "This includes ethnic diversity, of course" he points out, "but also a rich diversity in age, family background, and reasons for attending MC." "The best part of my day," he says, "is when I am in class with my students."
A founding member of the Action and Care Team for Students (ACTS), Hock is proud to be a part of the support and prevention efforts for MC students in crisis.
Besides teaching, Hock is also the author and co-author of several books. (to see his current books, search for Roger R. Hock on Amazon.com.) He uses his textbook, Human Sexuality, in his popular class of the same name. "Human sexuality is a challenging class to teach," he says, and he believes his approach works. Students evidently agree, as the class always has a waiting list.
When he is not teaching or writing, Hock enjoys family time with his wife, Diane, and their teenage daughter, Caroline.