Professor David Kinman, Chair of the World Languages and Literature Department, will be retiring this year. He began teaching at Houghton nine years ago for the fall semester of 2008. Currently, Professor Kinman teaches Spanish courses as well as Foreign Language Methods.
Before coming to Houghton, Professor Kinman taught as a high school teacher in Pennsylvania covering the subjects of Spanish, French, and Latin. During his time as a high school teacher, he coached Girls’ Varsity Track. He also served as a professor at a different college, Clarion University in Pennsylvania, for eleven years teaching Spanish, French, and Foreign Language Methods. When speaking on what initially brought him to Houghton, he said “After 35 years teaching in a public high school in Pennsylvania, I had a desire to finish my career where I could blatantly live my faith in the classroom. God provided this opportunity at Houghton.”
Professor of world languages and literature, Eva Meilaender, explained how in his time at Houghton he has taught several Spanish courses and worked to revive student interest in taking Spanish courses. Throughout her time working with him, she found Professor Kinman “was always available to the students and listened to their needs and problems. He was very encouraging and helpful.” In his role as Chair of the World Languages and Literature Department, she noted “He was a very caring chair of the department and took a personal interest in his colleagues.”
Professor Kinman said of his teaching experience “I have been blessed to experience what I would call highlights every day. My students are my highlights…getting to know them and sharing a small slice of our lives together is a gift from God.” However, he does look forward to spending his retirement with his wife and three grandsons. He also hopes to reconnect with his church’s ministry in a way that was difficult while he was a weekend commuter.
The college website stated his goals for his time at Houghton “are to serve students by encouraging them to seek a growing passion for languages and for Jesus.” In living out his own passion for both, he works to “teach Spanish with the idea that we can value others who speak that language.” As corroborated by his coworker , Meilaender, he sees importance in students from all majors considering courses in Spanish. He emphasized to students “the value of majoring in Spanish or Spanish Education, or minoring or concentrating in Spanish within the framework of a Christian world view.” Professor Kinman stated, “I have desired for my Spanish students to be able to value and validate the speakers of that language. I pray that I have effectively taught them how to do that.”
During his time at Houghton, Professor Kinman worked outside his department in his position as a Track and Field assistant coach. In this capacity he has lent his experience as a coach for a high school team and helped guide students towards greater success. His profile on the Houghton Highlanders website reported, “Dave Kinman has been working with the Highlander jumpers and hurdlers since the 2014-2015 season. While at Houghton, ‘Coach K’ has guided Zdravko Bogdanoski to an outdoor school record in the men’s high jump.”
This coming week students will have the opportunity to attend a faculty lecture by Kinman. On Monday, March 13 in the dining hall at 4:30 Professor Kinman will be presenting his Valedictory Lecture, a retrospective on his time in teaching.