By Joseph M. Perkins
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Professor Robert Ralph of Camden County College will be turning 65 this August and is completely content with his purpose in life.
Ralph didn’t plan on becoming a teacher, however. His pursuit of higher education began at Johnson County Community College of Overland Park, Kan. He then transferred to Kansas University. He majored in mostly business classes, but then he went on to receive a bachelor of arts degree in theology and minored in philosophy at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He enjoyed the religious education because he grew up in a Catholic family.
For many years, he served in the Navy.
Ralph then planned on becoming a United States Postal Service examiner. This plan changed when his wife, being a teacher at a private church school, allowed him to teach some of her classes where theology and philosophy emerged.
When asked why he became a teacher, he answered, “I like to be around students.” During his time at Jackson County Community College, “the teachers made sure of the students doing well. I would like to pass that on to my students,” he said. “I feel fulfilled doing this.”
When asked why teach philosophy, he responded, “I feel that we all face the questions of why are we here and what is the purpose of existence, and I feel that philosophy has a practical application of answering these questions. Philosophy is a good motivator to give you purpose and meaning in life.”
Ralph has been a teacher at Camden County College for 18 years. He teaches Modern Philosophy, Introduction to Ethics, Introduction to Philosophy, and Logic and Reasoning.
When asked if he believes he has a positive influence on his students, he said several of his students came back to tell him they became teachers from experiencing his teaching. “There is a level of commitment to teach. I’ll walk a mile if a student really tries.”
Ralph also owns a business where he reupholsters and refurbishes stadium seating. He also worked with the art department for the stadium seating in the new Jackie Robinson movie “42.”