Dr. Christopher Cooper is an engaging professor who is actually energized as a teacher by his interactions with students. His classes are dynamic, often changing as needs and issues arise in order to better prepare his students for a changing world.
Starting this semester, Dr. Cooper partnered his elections class with a class at East Michigan University. The instructor there, Dr. Jeff Bernstein, and Dr. Cooper have Skyped into each other's classes, their students have worked on projects together, and overall, the students were able to experience how the election played out from the perspective of two different key states. There were even competitions among students to be the best at predicting various details of the presidential election. In the meantime, Dr. Cooper has listened closely to issues the students brought up in discussion after the election, and willingly modified the end of the course in order to address their questions.
Dr. Cooper was also instrumental in implementing a new master's level capstone experience where students demonstrate their competence in public affairs by working with a community partner to conduct applied research that helps the partner. His students have done an analysis of downtown parking in Sylva, did an analysis of various options for creating government in Cullowhee, and investigated how a local non-profit board could be restructured.
As an active researcher, Dr. Cooper has written numerous articles and made appearances on local TV and radio stations because of his expertise. He consistently brings new findings into his classroom and involves his students in research projects. Ten of his students were chosen to present at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research. He has also co-authored several papers and newspaper articles with students.
Dr. Cooper's peers describe him as a "dynamic professor" who makes "superb use of technology" and "establishes an impressive rapport with students," "ignites their interest," and "motivates them to accept responsibility for the learning that takes place in his classroom." Another college has said that Dr. Cooper demonstrates "how an active scholar can bring research into the classroom and make it exciting."
Some comments from Dr. Cooper's students state that he, "challenges the way we think," motivated them "to strive for exceptionally high standards," and taught them the ability to "learn from other students" and "look at topics from a different perspective." One student added that he "allows students to succeed in ways they never imagined." They are clearly appreciative of Dr. Cooper's instruction, be he is also appreciative of them, stating that, "My students make me think about the world differently every day."