Manchester University
Oak Leaves

October 7, 2016


Visiting Instructor of Sociology Jared Friesen

Instructor Powers through Teaching, Dissertation

Anjel Clemente

The new visiting assistant professor of sociology is certainly taking a liking to the new atmosphere at Manchester. "I really like getting to know the students," Friesen said.” They're really friendly, and their many backgrounds and opinions make class more interesting. I feel welcome into the community."

Friesen has more than an impressive resume coming into Manchester. He began his studies at Huntington University, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology. He then earned his master’s in student affairs personnel in higher education from Ball State. Friesen gained more experience in student affairs, mainly in Ashland, Wis, at Northland College, where he was a director of residential life and associate dean for student life. Currently, Friesen is in the dissertation phase of his PhD in sociology from the University of Kentucky.

Along with teaching four classes in the fall, Friesen keeps busy writing his dissertation. His research examines the relationship between small liberal arts colleges and the communities around them. "Think about a rural community with colleges, like North Manchester,” Friesen said." It's the idea of the ways that a college connects with the local community it resides in, the way they reach out and the community reaches back." 

It's convenient that Friesen's dissertation work just happens to be liberal arts college in a small rural community, but that’s not what made him decide to come here. At least not completely. At first, Friesen was looking into Manchester University for his research. "I reached out to see a place to become an adjunct professor," he said, “but then I was contacted back about an unexpected opportunity.”

As Friesen notes, this new job "changed a lot of things” in his life. “I decided to dedicate my time to teaching, the students here, and my life mission,” he said. Friesen knew that he would be busy since he is still currently working on his dissertation, but that’s a risk he thought was worth it. "I'm very happy with my decision," he said. "There isn't a day that you're not faced with self-improvement value and that's what I love about this job. I am continually humbled with the opportunity this college has given me; it's a big deal."

Friesen happily resides in Huntington with his wife, Megan, and their four children. When he isn't busy teaching classes at Manchester like Intro to Sociology, or Cultural Anthropology, he likes to spend his time cycling, watching sports, or keeping himself busy with his wife and kids.