Math Professor Danny England celebrates 35 years at Blinn
Math professor joined the Blinn-Bryan faculty in 1984
January 10, 2020
“Teaching is a wonderful life because you spend your whole career looking for the lights to ignite formerly bewildered eyes. You can’t beat it.”
This statement personifies Danny England, whose 35-year career as a Math Professor with the Blinn College District has witnessed its fair share of pulling students out of the darkness.
Since 1984, England’s method of “using analogies and going slow” has helped countless Blinn students better understand calculus. England first developed his passion for math in his high school trigonometry class, and realized he might have a talent for teaching when he helped his father, a community college drafting instructor, understand concepts that no professors on his own campus could explain clearly.
If not for a series of significant phone calls, however, England’s career may have taken a drastically different path.
Graduating from Dallas Baptist College (now Dallas Baptist University) in 1977 with dual bachelor’s degrees in English and math, England was set to embark on a master’s program in English at Texas Christian University when his math professor, Dr. Fred Slauson, cornered him in the hallway with his own plans.
“He said, ‘You don’t really want to go into English. I can get on the phone right now and get you a job at Texas A&M,’” England remembered. “I thought, this guy is always bragging, so I’m just going to take him up on his boast. I told him to go ahead and call them up and he did it.”
A master’s program in math at Texas A&M University that included a position as a teaching assistant quickly usurped England’s plans for a career analyzing Victorian Era British literature. While continuing his education and pursuing a doctorate in math at Texas A&M, England’s fervor for teaching reemerged. With another phone call, this time from his dissertation committee chair with ties to Blinn, the trajectory of England’s life changed once again.
“For many years I wanted to teach. I was anxious to do that, so I jumped at the chance,” England said.
Initially a part-time instructor, England became the first full-time faculty member on the Bryan Campus and found himself teaching six different courses and tutoring the entire student body.
“It was definitely a job for a young man,” he remembered. “Little did I know that even if you keep the same job, it is not going to be the same duties necessarily. A lot has changed.”
For Blinn, this change involved continued expansion, campus moves, and the onboarding of new faculty, resulting in England being tapped for administrative positions as assistant manager and Dean of Student Services. As much as England valued his time in administration, his passion resided with teaching, which he returned to exclusively in 1999.
“Blinn offers students something special. We have smaller classes and instructors who are devoted to teaching,” England said. “We also have a lot of nontraditional students that are a joy to teach.”
England’s infectious enjoyment for teaching combined with his longevity at Blinn has come full circle as the children of former students have started filling the seats of his classroom. One surreal moment involved the daughter of two of England’s former students.
“A young lady came into class and sat down in the front row and she said to me, ‘My mom had you and my dad had you, and my dad told me that he would not fund my college education unless I took math from you,’” England said. “That really took the cake.”
Perhaps England’s career and future agenda at Blinn are summed up best by the words a student recently scrawled on a final exam he turned in: “Keep up the good work.”
Registration for Blinn’s Spring semester is open through Monday, Jan. 20. College officials encourage early registration for convenient scheduling and placement in high-demand courses.
For enrollment or financial aid information, visit www.blinn.edu/admissions.
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About Blinn College
With an enrollment of 19,581 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence.