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Highlighting the Research and Expertise of College of Charleston Professors

Professor Patrick Harwood
Department of Communication


Professor Paul Roof

Roof Professor Paul Roof

Staying Contemporary Keeps Roof Covered and On Top
By Andrea Ross

It takes an exceptionally insightful person to give college students an understanding of why there are social groups and social inequalities in the changing world in which we live. Professor Paul Roof successfully opens the minds of students by exploring the deeper side of contemporary topics to which they can relate.

Roof teaches Introduction to Sociology, Pop Culture and Urban Sociology at the College of Charleston.

He is also currently researching and writing papers about veterinary attitudes towards euthanasia on animals with Professor George Dickinson in the sociology department. Euthanasia, an extremely controversial subject, is the practice of medically-assisted death and is illegal in most countries.

Roof's teaching philosophy involves keeping an open-door policy and he says he strives to expose his students to a variety of ideas concerning modern society and our roles in it.

At the young age of 35, this uniquely bearded, approachable teacher provides a comfortable, enjoyable classroom atmosphere. One former student recalls the class as "one of the most interactive and relatable to our daily lives. He uses techniques like funny movie clips and advertisements, and even incorporates popular social websites like Facebook into discussion."

Another student says, "You want to listen to him. Its obvious he's up to date on what we college kids are into, and challenges our everyday actions with out being the least bit biased."

Growing up in Columbia, Roof says he dreamed of being a high school history teacher. This path changed through his education at Presbyterian College, where he received his bachelor's degree. His passion for sociology emerged because he "really liked viewing society through the socialogical perspective and wanted to share it with others because of how eye opening it is."

He continued his education, receiving a master's degree from Appalachian State and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina.

Past broken relationships, as well as the emotional instability they left behind, are cited by Roof as important obstacles he has overcome, attributing to the independent person he is today. He recognizes his past teachers, even as far back as elementary school and numerous professors as mentors, who were great inspirations, teachers and friends.

Roof has experienced a range of different cultures himself. He has lived in Boone, N.C., Clinton, S.C. and New Mexico. He has traveled to Cuba, Honduras, Czech Republic and Germany. In coming to College of Charleston, Roof explained he was finishing up his dissertation when a visiting professorship line opened for his first stint here. He then taught in New Mexico for two years, and woud return to Charleston when the opportunity arose that both he and his wife could work at the College of Charleston.

In terms of values and beliefs, Roof says family, independence and endurance are the most important to him. He is a husband and proud father of 2-and-a-half-year-old Katharine and 3-month-old Matthew.

In describing a typical Saturday night, he says, "Sometimes I go for a concert at a local pub, but usually the family and I will go out for barbecue or we will cook out at home."

As for hobbies, Roof says he enjoys running and playing the guitar. He is also involved with a social group called the Holy City Beard and Moustache Society that has monthly get-togethers.