Q&A with Professor Keith Huey
By Gabby Eubanks
Dr. Keith Huey is a professor of religion. He leads Rochester University’s Global Educational Opportunities program.
What's the most rewarding part of your job?
“This is a tough one. There are lots of rewarding parts to the job. When I'm grading a paper and I can see that a student is ‘getting it,’ that's rewarding. When students are engaged in class, asking good questions and essentially teaching each other, that's rewarding. It's rewarding to see them graduate, and to watch them doing great things when they leave RU.”
Describe how your job has changed in the midst of the pandemic?
“The job takes more time and it isn't quite as fun. The worst thing, I guess, is the way it limits the experiential opportunities for students to do GEO, to do field trips, to get together in assemblies, etc.”
Who has influenced you most in your life?
“At this point, I should probably say ‘Jesus,’ but aside from him, it would be hard to find anybody who could outrank my wife and my parents. I've been blessed on both counts and those relationships are gifts that keep on giving. In terms of teachers, I would probably name Dr. Doug Brown from Harding School of Theology, Dr. William Babcock from Southern Methodist University, and Dr. Patrick Carey from Marquette University. They really caught my imagination and I'm still using the things they taught me. In terms of books, I would probably name John Howard Yoder’s ‘The Politics of Jesus,’ Elie Wiesel’s ‘Night’ and James Cone’s ‘God of the Oppressed.’ All three of those forced me to look at the world in a different way.”
What values motivate you the most?
“Faithfulness, compassion, humility and creativity.”
What do you do to have fun or de-stress?
“I spend a lot of time in workouts with a strong preference for cycling at Stony Creek. But nothing beats an evening at home in the recliner, with my wife, my cat, a blanket, a book, a bowl of potato chips, and some hot cocoa.”
What's been the biggest challenge in your life?
“I'm still sitting in the middle of this one. For instance, I can read a book like Matthew Desmond's ‘Evicted,’ and I can tell everybody else to read it, as well. I could discuss it in class, and I could make some PowerPoint slides. But am I doing anything to address the problems that book describes? There just seems to be a big gap between 1) the things I am actually doing with my life; and 2) the things that our world most urgently needs.”
What is your favorite family vacation?
“I love a vacation when we get everybody together -- the destination isn't the most important thing. I also love it when my wife and I get to travel abroad to places in Europe or to East Africa.”
What is a random fun fact about you?
“I was the stunt double for Tom Cruise in ‘Mission Impossible: 4.’ ”
What is something you want to learn or wish you were better at?
“I wish I was truly fluent with another foreign language. German would be great, but I would settle for a long list of other options.”
What single piece of advice would you give students today?
“Seek first the kingdom of God. I know that sounds like a Bible school answer, but I'm serious. Don't get sidetracked by American delusions of success and greatness.”