During his time spent working in London politics, new full-time history and political science professor Peter Rex was once accused of working as a CIA spy by a London newspaper.
Rex is enthusiastic and eager to begin working with students at South Puget Sound Community College.
Rex applied for the full-time position this year after working one quarter a year at SPSCC from 2007-2011. He especially enjoyed his time at SPSCC during winter quarter 2011, and found that teaching and collaborating with students during class time was very fulfilling. Rex describes SPSCC students as always prepared to learn and that’s why he loves working at the college.
As a teacher he believes that the learning relationship between student and teacher goes both ways, and that is one of the most rewarding parts of the job.
According to Rex, college students really “show up ready to learn,” creating the perfect environment for discussions and projects that ultimately help everyone expand their way of thinking and theorizing.
Rex earned his master’s in education at Western Washington University. However, he also holds a bachelor’s in political science and journalism, as well as a master’s in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Upon relocating to Western Washington, Rex took a position for Senator Patty Murray. Altogether he worked in Olympia legislation for 10 years.
As part of his teaching technique, Rex is consistently working to “try to have students be engaged as much as possible.” In order to do this Rex says he always makes his class relevant to what’s going on in the world, in hopes that students will want to get involved.
Rex has dedicated many years to teaching. He spent six years teaching at Capital High School, starting in 1997. Although the high school environment can be quite different from the college environment, Rex loves each equally. “I loved it all. [ There’s] great energy in high schools,” he said.
Still within the system of the Olympia School District, Rex also acted as communications director for six years. This job entailed handling school district and media relations, talking with the newspaper, and communicating with TV stations.
Overall his job was “to be the voice of things in the district,” said Rex.
When the roof collapsed on Olympia High School last winter, Rex dealt with media coverage of the event. As the liaison between the school district and the media, Rex made sure to stay informed about all the efforts to assess the damage and to repair the school thereafter.
Preceding his political work in Washington Rex worked for politicians in London, Washington D.C., and Wisconsin.
Rex said that he rotates positions in the fields of communications, education, and politics. He has realized that “our attention span is getting shorter and shorter” and that “people want new challenges,” including himself.