Thomas Nieman, Staff Writer
College professors are responsible for molding the minds of future generations. Professors are looked at with an even more intense magnifying glass at Utica College since the school is known for its smaller class sizes and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio.
A Utica College professor who is held in high regard by many students is Dr. Sherri Cash, an associate professor of history. Cash holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Buffalo State College and received both her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Arizona.
Her education endeavors were not without uncertainty at first as she previously attended the State University of New York at Albany and the University of South Florida. Originally she studied English, theatre and marketing. Cash also voluntarily attended night classes at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. It wasn’t until later on where she began studying history.
“I realized that it was calling me,” Cash said. “I had a passion for history.”
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Cash holds a passion for history, which she then applies in her teaching. Graduate student Hayleigh Snyder commended her as an exceptional professor.
“She challenges you, she holds you to a certain standard and she treats you like you are a young professional,” Snyder said.
Outside of the classroom, Cash described the most challenging day of her life not as a professor, but rather as a daughter.
“The first thing that pops into my head is the day that my mother died,” Cash said. “It’s one of those days that you have to ask yourself ‘How would I react under whatever the circumstances are and you don’t really know until you’re there?’”
Cash’s biggest regret is something she also says is her only regret. While getting accepted into a graduate school she worked hard for, she accepted a marriage proposal from her first husband at the same time.
Describing it as a “different era,” she chose to follow him to Arizona instead of staying with her original graduate school choice. While lamenting, she also says if she did not make that decision, she would not have ended up with her second husband, Mike, and the children she shares with him. She also wouldn’t be at Utica College.
“I wouldn’t actually change it, but I certainly wouldn’t advise any other young women in particular, or young men for that matter, to make that choice,” Cash said. “That was a major turning point in my life.”
Cash described the most challenging person in her life to be her husband Mike, but challenging “in a good way and in the best way,” as she describes it.
Even on a small campus with small class sizes like Utica College, some professors work with a large number of students throughout a typical semester. Professors can be influential figures for students on campus, but sometimes students might be just as influential to their professors. Cash described the most influential person in her life to be her children.
“As a parent, I guess I’ve developed a perspective of saying to myself ‘What would I tell my kids to do?’, or ‘What kind of choices would I want them to make?’” Cash said. “I think that in that sense, they have become the most influential people in my life.”