How to address with respect; professors and students tell all

By Shannon Keough
September 13, 2007

Teachers often have many titles. They can be called by their first name, last name, Mr., Mrs., doctor or professor. Students and teachers at Cabrini generally have the same idea of how a teacher should be addressed. However, some are less traditional than others.

Dr. Dawn Middleton, professor of education, strictly goes by “doctor” because she spent 16 years in college with only one summer semester off , believing she now deserves her prestigious title.

Dr. Seth Frechie, associate professor of English, also insists on being called “doctor” because he says, “I’m proud of my Ph.D. and I believe it is an appropriate sign of respect.”

Maria Anthony, a sophomore elementary and special education major, calls her teachers by their preference because when she begins to teach she wants students to respect her title as well.

Dr. Cynthia Halpern, professor of romance languages, goes by “doctor” or “senora,” and she thinks it would be odd if her students called her by her first name. However, she also says that this depends on her relationship with the student and after graduation it could be appropriate.

Some students feel more comfortable calling their teacher “doctor,” whereas others do it out of respect.

Jessica Fee, a junior early childhood and elementary education major, said that teachers are “too important for first names.”

Bill Monahan, a sophomore English and communication major, calls his teachers “professor” because not every teacher is a doctor. College professors “aren’t just teachers,” Monahan said.

Amy DeBlasis, instructor of English, on the other hand, prefers being addressed by her first name. She explains that, “by letting my students call me by my first name, I treat them like adults.”

Once DeBlasis receives her doctorate, she will insist on being called Dr. DeBlasis.

Dr. J.P. Girard, professor of history and political science, said most of his students call him Dr. Girard, but the students in his major refer to him as “Doc.”

George Post, a senior English and communication major, said that some of his teachers want to be called by their first name. He said it depends on the teacher and he doesn’t think it has to do with what grade a student is in.

Cathy Yungmann, associate professor of communications, says that most of her classes consist of juniors and seniors and she prefe rs they call her by her first name because they usually work in small informal groups. She does not mind if other students refer to her as Cathy because, “it’s easier to remember.”

Mike Holland, a sophomore finance major, will call his teachers whatever they introduce themselves as. Holland believes that if a teacher takes the time to find out what a student wants to be called, the student should do the same.

“You should call them doctor because they deserve it with how much school they went through,” Holland said.

Students at Cabrini refer to their teachers differently, this is based on their teachers preference, comfort level or respect.

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Shannon Keough

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