Class clown becomes full-time college professor

Chris James/Pioneer
Biology Professor, Sherri Arthur, assists Lesley Jones, nursing major, in the disection of a piglet on April 11. Arthur has been teaching for 13 years, but this is her first semester as a full-time professor at OCCC.

Teaching was not the first career choice Biology Professor Sherri Arthur had in mind. Growing up in Thomasville, Ga., and Panama City, Fla., she developed an interest in marine ecology.

Her father had a shrimp boat for 12 years which helped her gain a particular interest in shrimp habitat.

“Once I started research in estuaries, areas that shrimp use for nurseries, I became concerned about wetlands and started my research there. My goals were to work in the protection of our wetlands,” Arthur said.

At the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Arthur said she studied ecological research with high hopes that her dreams would all come true, she suffered a serious injury in a car accident that put those dreams on hold.


During this interlude, Arthur said she was introduced to the world of teaching. That was only meant to be temporary, she said. Now, 13 years into her teaching career, Arthur said she has loved every minute of it.

Arthur moved to Oklahoma in 2002 to teach as a full-time professor at Conners State College, after having taught at Rose State College, and Oklahoma State University.

Then, in January 2012, she became a full-time science professor at OCCC.

“I love it here,” she said. “I love how all the students are very energetic and dedicated.”

Arthur said she takes some different approaches to teaching, saying that she likes to be close to her class and talk to each student individually. She wants each one to have an understanding of what she is trying to teach.

Being a class clown in high school has also played a part in the way Arthur teaches her class. She likes to keep the class laughing and interested in the material.

Teaching now is a career that Arthur continues to look forward to doing every day. She has one message for future science students:

“Be prepared to put in the time.” she said.

To contact Chase Blankenship, email

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