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Best faculty member: Miguel Gomez

Miguel Gomez was voted best faculty in the Best of Murray survey.
Courtesy of Murray State University
Miguel Gomez was voted “best faculty” in the “Best of” Murray survey.

Miguel Gomez, coordinator of the middle school education program, is the recipient of this year’s best faculty member award.

“This nomination is very humbling to me,” Gomez said. “It’s so nice to see that the whole student body sees the efforts and everything you’ve done. It reminds me not to screw up and how much my [students] need me.” 

Gomez has worked at Murray State for the last eight years but has taught for over 20 years.

Logan Oliver, a Murray State alumnus, said as a former middle school education student, Gomez left an impact on him

“He has this way of inspiring you to do things that you never thought you could do,” Oliver said. 

When taking the next step in his career, Gomez moved from teaching middle school to being a college professor. This was an important change for Gomez, as he went from teaching middle schoolers to now teaching how to teach middle schoolers. 

Gomez had been offered other job opportunities, but he said Murray State offered him something others had not: the chance to teach middle school education.

 “Murray State supports me and how I teach,” he said. “They allow me to be my authentic self.”

“His passion for the program makes you want to be a part of it,” Oliver said. “He sold me instantly.”

The middle school education program has grown since Gomez took lead. Gomez said when he first got to Murray State, the program had around 20 students, and it now has around 85 students. 

Gomez teaches his students in semi-unconventional ways, making them interact with people outside of the classroom. 

“I want my kids to produce knowledge that is meaningful,” Gomez said. “Learning should be meaningful.”

Gomez said it is important to not only teach content but to teach students how to be there for middle school students.  

Gomez said what led him to becoming a teacher was his drive to make the world a better place through education. That drive then led him to become a college professor.

I became a college professor because I wanted to help create the next generation of teachers. I realized that my impact on education could be magnified exponentially if I had the opportunity to mentor, train, and educate the next generation of teachers.” 

His efforts and impact made on students and staff have not gone unseen. Students and other faculty members got together to create the Dr. Miguel Gomez Middle School Education fund in his name. The fund will allow organizations and Murray State alumni to donate to the fund. It will be awarded to students wanting to pursue a future in middle school education at Murray State. 

Oliver said whenever Gomez would walk into a room and talk to his students, the first thing he’d always say was, “It’s a beautiful day.”

Gomez said he reminds people that the day isn’t beautiful because of the circumstances, but because he chooses to believe it is.

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