North Texas Daily

Professor nominated for hottest Dallas bachelor

Professor nominated for hottest Dallas bachelor

Professor nominated for hottest Dallas bachelor
September 29
23:55 2014

Samantha McDonald / Staff Writer

Meet Dallas’ most eligible bachelors.

Three weeks ago, 12 men from across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex gathered in downtown Dallas to promote their nominations as Dallas’ Hottest Bachelors, an annual competition hosted by the nationally syndicated entertainment show Inside Edition.

Among the finalists were 22-year-old FC Dallas soccer player Victor Ulloa and 30-year-old television commercial actor Desmond Donahue.

Another was Geoffrey Wawro, director of the UNT Military History Center who, at 53, was the oldest nominee for the award.

“I was very surprised to be selected, because I was literally old enough to be the father of most of these people,” he said.

Admitting that a reality show appearance was on his bucket list, Wawro also called his invitation to the show “interesting” after producers personally contacted him to send a short biography along with photographs. Other nominees went through an open call and sent in their information with the casual, business and shirtless picture requirements.

The professor, who enjoys sports and outdoor activities, is divorced and has two kids with whom he frequently travels. He also regularly watches cable news shows and reads nonfiction books during his spare time.

“Being divorced, you are aware of all the pitfalls of marriage, so you don’t want to reprise the same mistakes,” he said. “What I’ve learned from my past is that you should be with someone who is able to spar with you intelligently, but there has to be a lot of physical chemistry as well.”

The ‘chili pepper’ factor

Wawro is also recognized for his good looks on campus. As a college professor, he periodically checks his profile on ratemyprofessors.com, a website that rates faculty members based on a variety of qualities, one of which is their level of attractiveness.

Represented by a chili pepper symbol, this factor is evaluated along with three other criteria – helpfulness, clarity and easiness – with a five-point scale for overall quality and a letter that corresponds to the average grade received by students.

Wawro said he is not sure what these ratings, whether online or word-of-mouth, mean for professors.

“I don’t know what brings the students in, but hopefully it’s content-driven,” he said.

Integrative studies senior Amy Oudin is among the students who agree that appearances can affect enrollment to some extent.

“Looks matter for sure,” she said. “I almost always check Rate My Professor before choosing a class, and I try to go with the professor who has the highest score in all areas.”

Because students can assign chili peppers to faculty members regardless of their physical appearance, the chili pepper is not an accurate representation of those who are considered the “hottest” professors at a university.

In addition, students are often more concerned about other ratings that accompany each professor profile. Oudin stresses the importance of selecting a class whose professor is rated based not only on his or her looks, but also the style in which he or she teaches.

“I’m a visual learner,” she said. “If a professor’s presentation is not clear, it can get very confusing.”

Graphic design freshman Cameron Frazier, who regularly visits the website, said that the clarity factor determined enrollment in each of his five classes this semester.

“The ‘hot’ rating is not necessarily a deal breaker,” he said. “If you have a teacher who is more thorough and one that you understand, you’re more likely to be able to learn.”

Brains vs. brawn

Another of UNT’s most attractive faculty members is Spanish professor Olga Mandujano. Although she believes that professors should make students’ learning their top priority, she said looks also matter to a certain degree.

“I’ve noticed that a lot of professors don’t take the time to be proud of what they do, and I feel like that’s really important,” Mandujano said. “Your appearance is a reflection of who you are, and I think students can relate to you more when you groom yourself.”

Because she values interaction with students, Mandujano begins her beauty routine early in the morning. She brushes her hair and applies makeup before she leaves for the classroom. As a result, Mandujano finds that students are more comfortable approaching her and thus make the effort to attend each class meeting.

“It wasn’t that long ago that I was in the same seat these students are in, so I think it can affect you to be presentable,” she said. “There’s something to be said for somebody who takes the time to take care of themselves.”

Featured Image: Freshman Linda Kessler checks out director of military history Geoffrey Wawro on ratemyprof.com. Students can look up professors before choosing their classes each semester and see how other students have rated their teaching effectiveness and even the teacher’s physical appearance. Photo by Evan McAlister – Staff Photographer

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