Faculty profile: Dr. Jan Hoffmann

Produced by University Communications

Story by Georgia College & State University senior Caroline Hubbard

D r. Janet Hoffmann started at Georgia College & State University in fall 2002 as a professor of Rhetoric. She decided to come to Georgia College from Macon State College, now known as Middle Georgia State University, following the creation of the Rhetoric major, because it allowed her to foster the growth of a new program.

Dr. Jan Hoffmann
Dr. Jan Hoffmann
Hoffmann has served in many areas, from hosting Times Talk and participating in every undergraduate commencement ceremony since 2003 to leading the Georgia College chapter of the American Democracy Project.

Preceding her time at Georgia College, Hoffmann earned a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from Florida State University, a Master of Arts in Speech Communication from San Jose State University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Speech Communication from the University of Washington.

Hoffmann says that her favorite place on campus is her office on the second floor of Terrell Hall because of the beautiful view from her window.

Times Talk, a national weekly discussion series on current and significant public events and issues as reported by the New York Times and other reputable sources, has been an enormous part of Hoffmann’s time at Georgia College.

“It is one of the longer traditions on campus, and we change topics depending on whatever the student, faculty, staff or volunteer facilitator would like to discuss and share their expertise and perspectives about,” Hoffmann said. “So, if you do not like it this week, next week might be something that fascinates you.”

Another large part of Hoffmann’s Georgia College experience is her role in leading the Georgia College chapter of the American Democracy Project as one of its founding members.

ADP is a network of 300 colleges and universities collaborating to deepen public higher education’s impact on preparing students to be engaged community leaders by developing civic skills of critical thinking, deliberation, thoughtful listening and dialogue, particularly with opposing views and perspectives.

Dr. Jan Hoffmann leads a discussion during a Times Talk session.
Dr. Jan Hoffmann leads a discussion during a Times Talk session.

She has also served as one of the designated deputy registrars for Georgia College since 2005, where she was trained to know the rules of voter registration, answer questions accurately and honestly and help get people registered to vote.

“I do voter education drives, registration drives and tabling when anybody needs it,” Hoffmann said. “If they want to table, I will train students, so they know all the important rules to do it legally and ethically.”

How lucky am I to have a career in this place.
– Dr. Jan Hoffmann

The best part of working at Georgia College, according to Hoffmann, is when she gets to read out a student's name at graduation, knowing that it is a student whose educational journey she was able to experience.

“We have that glance together, where we just realize this was such a special moment,” Hoffmann said. “And they are about to walk off and start their new adventure. We are ending an adventure that, in many cases, I got to start with them four years ago when they first started out in the Bridge Scholars program, which is cool.”

Hoffmann enjoys the little things involved with being a professor and mentor to students, from sitting with them on the front porch of Terrell Hall to keeping up with them after graduation.

“How lucky am I to have this career in this place.” Hoffmann said.