Alumni Profile: Norman Reese('91)

5 Questions with Norman Reese ('91)

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
LeTourneau University (Longview, Texas)

LeTourneau School of Engineering, Business & Technology


What brought you to LETU?

I’ve always been involved in teaching college age students at church and have had a heart for helping young people.  After doing a business startup that didn’t work out, I was looking for a job when I heard about  a teaching position at LETU in engineering technology.  It was pretty mind boggling when I interviewed on campus with professors that impacted me so much as a college student at LeTourneau.

How would you describe your LETU Experience?

Teaching at LETU has been an incredible experience and the hardest job of my life.  There are so many meaningful tasks pulling us in different directions.  I’m always striving for new ways to teach concepts, working on demonstration activities or instruction videos, for example. Then I got involved in research with wheelchairs for developing countries and often take students on international trips and to conferences.  Plus there is the spiritual dimension of striving to provide impacting class devos and meet with students and colleagues. This is definitely a unique job!

Did any professors have a significant impact?

As a student, God really hit me through Bill Graff’s life and devotionals.  For example, understanding that Biblical faith is intelligent, not blind, really impacted me.  Kyun Lee also had a big effect on me in his teaching, but even more when he arranged for me to teach English at his home church in Korea after I graduated.  I’m also realizing that many professors and staff impacted me as a student.  Whether it was Dr. Batts’ ethics class, Franklin and Luckert in administration, Roger Carr’s stories, or Miss Arnold’s continuous conversation with God -- I still remember things they said and did almost 30 years later.  LeTourneau is a whole package.

How has LETU prepared you for your career?

In most careers, you’ve got to have technical ability, which LETU coursework helps provide.  Perhaps even more important is the experience and confidence I gained in leadership opportunities on campus.  Technical skills will give you the ability to see problems that need solved. Leadership ability will compel you to take steps to solve the problem.  Our world needs problem solvers, not problem noticers.

What advice would you give to LETU students?

Learn focus and balance.  Focus on the task, limiting distractions, so you can complete it.  If you are going to study, study.  Don’t just “talk”- communicate.  Balance your life by doing the right task at the right time:  work, learning, social, health, spiritual.  Schedule your priorities, or they won’t happen.

"In most careers you've got to have technical skills, which LETU coursework provides. Perhaps even more important is the experience and confidence I gained in leadership opportunities on campus. Leadership abilities will compel you to take steps to solve the problem.
Our world needs more problem solvers, not problem noticers."