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WVU Online Faculty Testimonial - Tom Devine

Tom Devine profile image.

Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Everyone learns differently

Tom Devine

"I get to change people’s lives everyday by helping them develop the confidence and skills they need to succeed in the modern workforce."

Tom Devine dressed up for Halloween with friends.

Tom Devine wearing a WVU basketball headband.

Tom Devine and his dog.

Tom Devine started teaching when he was a student himself, so that he could support his family while he was finishing his PhD dissertation. He soon discovered that he had a passion for it.

"I have always derived great satisfaction from helping others succeed in life," he says. "As a professor, I get to change young people's lives everyday by helping them develop the confidence and skills they need to succeed in the modern technological workforce."

Tom discovered that everyone learns differently and that there is no one correct method of teaching that works for everyone. For that reason, he tries to approach teaching from as many different angles as he can to make sure he can reach as many students as possible.

Some of the techniques he uses include:

  • Engaging lectures – emphasizing why the concepts matter by rooting them in real-world scenarios and examples;
  • Encouraging class discussions – asking questions to involve students in the discussion to learn what they know and are comfortable with and then relating course concepts to make them more accessible;
  • Hands-on learning – assignments that reinforce course concepts; and
  • Seeking feedback and prevailing tech to always improve curriculum.
"Students succeed in my classes by showing up and doing the work," he says. "Active engagement is a hallmark of student success, and I try to provide as many different avenues as I can for students to pursue engagement."
"Some students engage more with the assignments, some the lectures, some the lecture recordings. I try to make sure they all have as many options as possible to find what works for them."

q & a

What technology do you use in the classroom?

"Tech is deeply incorporated in into all aspects of the curricula I prepare. I use eCampus heavily for assignments, quizzes and exams, and course material organization. We do hands-on labs in all of my cybersecurity courses using cloud instances and virtual machines. I also incorporate industry standard tools into my classes, so the students are using them every day."

About Mentoring

"Whenever I have questions I turn to my colleagues for discussions and possible solutions. Some senior members of the department have been very helpful in guiding me through the intricacies of upper level Academia and administrative policies."

What are your research interests?

"Cybersecurity, computer science, artificial intelligence, and data mining."

Inside WVU

Dr. Devine earned both his Master of Science Computer Science and his PhD in Computer Science from WVU.

Outside WVU

He has written articles concerning diverse topics, such as: machine learning; distributed algorithms; high performance computing; Big Data; cybersecurity; pedagogy; and radio astronomy.

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