15 Minutes


Resides: Marshalltown

Hometown: Williamsburg


Family: My father, John, is “still kicking” at 90 and doing well at his own home. I have two brothers, two sisters, three step sisters, my daughter Vanessa, and one step sister-in-law with many nieces and nephews living in Iowa and throughout the United States. My wife, Jane, has one sister and four brothers and many nieces and nephews who are like family to me. Jane’s mother lives in Iowa, with one daughter and one son locally with their spouses and another daughter and her husband in Iowa. Altogether, we have nine grandchildren. It is great having a large, loving, blended family.

Hobbies and interests: Community theater, golf, Marshalltown Community College activities, reading, University of Iowa Hawkeye sports, watching movies and writing.


Occupation: Professor of Speech/Theater/Film at MCC.

What that means: I teach public speaking, film and theater classes at MCC, with a wonderful group of faculty, staff and administrators.

Tenure: 18 years

Best part of school/job: I still enjoy watching students improve their communication skills. Public speaking is very scary to most people, so when I see a student overcome that fear and start communicating clearly, I am overjoyed. Teaching students about theater and the great films/directors/techniques is also fascinating. Working with such a great group of coworkers also makes my job a pleasure.

If I could change jobs I would be/do: A writer.


Books: I recently read “The Ayn Rand Reader” and “A Conflict of Visions.” There are many books I have loved and it is hard to pick one. I love reading Kurt Vonnegut, James Mischner, James Clavell, Isaac Asimov among others. My favorite book might be “Moby Dick.”

Movies: Again, there are so many great movies. Alfred Hitchcock movies are great, but my two favorite movies are Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” and Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove: Or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”

Foods: Steak and lobster.

Sports: Hawkeyes and South Carolina Gamecocks.


Best part of living here: The people of Marshalltown are wonderful. Marshalltown is a city that is always looking forward, but remembering its past. It has many great opportunities for art, music, sports and education.

Most influential people: My father, mother and wife.

Local involvement: I usher for community theater and occasionally act or direct. I currently serve as vice-president of the Iowa Valley Education Association, am a Mid-Iowa Uni-Serve executive board member, a member of the Republican Party and am a Presbyterian. I work with MCC faculty and student volunteers at the House of Compassion, and serve on the Faculty Senate Christmas Tree committee which benefits Marshalltown’s Tiny Tim Tree Festival.

Advice on life: Enjoy every day and try to make someone smile. Do your best at everything and look for the best in others. Make your family and friends a priority.

15 Minutes is a Saturday feature about central Iowans. The question and answer format lends itself be completed or read in 15 minutes or less. To submit a name for consideration, or to participate, contact Times-Republican Staff and Features Reporter Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com