Today we’re recognizing the contributions of Professor Omar Addi, who is retiring this summer. Professor Addi has taught at Schoolcraft College for more than 30 years as a full-time member of the faculty. He also served as Chair of the English Department.
Omar Addi’s path to English Professor at Schoolcraft College was long and interesting, but one that paid off for the many students he taught in a career that spans nearly 45 years, including more than 30 here at Schoolcraft.
“My teaching career started in 1976 as a language and culture trainer for the Peace Corps Summer Training programs and a personal language tutor for some U.S. Embassy staff in Morocco,” Professor Addi recalled. “After graduating from the Mohamed V University in Rabat, Morocco, in 1978, I moved to New York to continue my graduate studies in literature. During that time, I continued to teach English courses at New York colleges like Hunter College and LaGuardia Community College.
“When I moved to Michigan, I continued teaching English at Wayne State University and Macomb Community College on a part-time basis and working full time in various positions in the Enrollment Management area at Wayne County Community College.”
Professor Addi started at Schoolcraft College in August of 1990. He said his favorite classes to teach were literature and composition courses.
“Literature gave me an opportunity to share my knowledge of literature and the extraordinary insights from the great minds that had taught me in graduate school,” he said. “Composition, being language-focused, has been more relevant to me to chase words and usage and to my students to solidify their communication skills and, for most of them, to appreciate the complexities and the beauty of their own language.”
One of the strengths of Schoolcraft College is its ability to appeal to and educate a wide spectrum of students, something Professor Addi deeply appreciates.
“The most memorable moments for me relate to the series of personal and academic transformations I have seen in my students over the years—from a hesitant returning adult student trying to restart his or her academic journey to an unsure youngster trying to fit in with the perceived standard college crowd,” he said.
“The challenge here is to provide continuous support and encouragement to both cases. The satisfaction and the joy come from the realized transformation.”
Those types of transformations were noted by Dr. Michele Kelly, Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
“Under his leadership as the chair of the English department, thousands of students flourished as they learned how to be better writers,” she said. “Omar's sense of humor, global sensibility and literary references kept everyone laughing and thinking!”
Professor Addi shared a few of his goals for retirement.
“Firstly, I will definitely enjoy ‘horizontal’ reading – no straightening or sitting up to correct anything!” he said. “Secondly, there will be no more by ‘noon’ deadlines – ha ha! Thirdly, I will travel and explore not only the familiar but also the exotic. And, finally, kick back and enjoy the day with family and friends.”
As he reflects on his journey, Professor Addi is grateful for his years at Schoolcraft College.
“I have enjoyed every moment of my life at Schoolcraft, and my permanent smile and hallway whistle have been manifestations of such journey of over 30 years,” he said.