Faculty of the Week: Professor Andrew Isaacs

By John Kim

  1. Hometown: Portmore, Jamaica
  2. Current position on campus: Assistant Professor of Chemistry
  3. What is it about being a Chem professor that so greatly enjoy? My favorite part of teaching is that look on my students’ face when they finally understand a concept. I also enjoy the dynamic we build each semester in class and in lab.
  4. Role Model: My uncle – Aaron Isaacs and Neil Degrasse Tyson
  5. Education: Undergraduate – Holy Cross, PhD – University of Pennsylvania, and Postdoctoral studies at UC Berkeley
  6. Hobbies: Tennis and karaoke
  7. Favorite Subject: Chemistry
  8. Least Favorite Subject: I like the challenge of all subjects!
  9. Favorite Animal: Giraffe
  10. Favorite Book: Lost Prophet – The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin
  11. Favorite Color: Blue (Team Mystic!)
  12. Favorite Movies: Spirited Away, Maria Full of Grace, Billy Elliot
  13. Favorite Songs: “Controlla,” Drake; “Cranes in the Sky,” Solange; “Silent Shout,” The Knife (right now I’m playing these three constantly)
  14. Favorite Sports Teams: I don’t really follow teams. But I LOVE Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal.
  15. Favorite TV Shows: Stranger Things, Rupaul’s Drag Race, Game of Thrones, House of Cards
  16. Favorite On-Campus Meal: Turkey Naan – Science Café
  17. Favorite Off-Campus Meal: Basil Spice – Anything on the Menu!
  18. Favorite Aspect of Occupation: I find mentoring students to be quite gratifying! I like to challenge them because I believe in and care about them deeply. I also like to build empowering relationships.
  19. One Thing on Your Bucket List: I really want to go to Asia.
  20. Unique Talent: Singing
  21. Proudest Moment at Holy Cross: Stepping into class on the first day I returned as a professor. It was a very powerful experience.
  22. Something Your Students Do that Frustrate You: Telling me they don’t know how to do a problem when it’s right in the notes.
  23. Advice to Your Students: Be the best version of you, not a copy of someone else. Make sure you are working toward your dreams and not someone else’s. Give yourself a chance to succeed by preparing well. Don’t be so down on yourself if you fail a test. Failure is a part of life; learn from it and keep moving. Lead a balanced life. Balance your academics and your co-curricular activities. Most importantly – take time to build friendships!
  24. Your Mantra: If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?
  25. What do you admire most about Holy Cross? Commitment to diversity.
  26. Funny Holy Cross Story: One winter in my sophomore year it was pretty icy and I was walking to Kimball and wiped out in front of a bunch of people in a tour. Then I got up and went down again. Pretty embarrassing.

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