Jon Tonkowich Headshot

Jon Tonkowich
Executive Vice President

Favorite quote from the curriculum? Given our present situation and which book I will choose for the next question, I will select this quote from Moby Dick: “…for there is no folly of the beast of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men.”

Favorite book or work in the curriculum? Again, I’m going with Moby Dick. It’s probably recency bias. I hadn’t read it since high school. I hated it in high school. I read it again a couple years ago and found it delightful. I think it truly is an American epic.

Advice to students trying to study remotely? I have been working on my MBA online for about a year and a half now. It is not easy to stay focused. There is no doubt in my mind that it is an inferior way to learn when compared to small sections having discussions in person. That being said, you can still learn a lot. The difficult part is that the onus is more on the student in an online setting. I would recommend that students make an effort to really focus on the studying. Find a quiet spot and put away all distractions. You will want to search for something on the internet or check your phone as you start to get bored. It is too easy to do when you are by yourself. Resist the urge and be fully immersed in the topic when you are studying.

Aristotle or Aquinas? Trick question, they are the same person. Aquinas is just a reincarnation of Aristotle…. I think I would say Aristotle, but that’s really hard.

Dante or Shakespeare? Also hard. But I choose Shakespeare. Everytime I read one of his plays I am amazed at how timeless the stories are.

Favourite class to teach? Business Club! Okay, that’s the only thing I teach and it’s not really a class. I would love to get an opportunity to help teach a class at some point. My favorite class that I audited is either Dr. Holmes’s Theology 101 or Dr. Olsson’s Science 402.

Advice to students just starting college? Take advantage of the opportunity to make friends and study. Many of my closest friends today are people with whom I attended college. Even people who I didn’t know as well when we were in school, become instant friends when we see each other. Don’t miss out on this opportunity by keeping to yourself or to just your closest friends. Likewise, you have a unique opportunity to study. Once you have a job and a family, it is hard to take the time to read and study the way you can when you are in college. Unless you go onto graduate school, this is most likely the last opportunity you will have in your life to have everything revolve around your studying. Someday you will long to have no other responsibilities and just bury yourself in great books all day. Enjoy this opportunity and get the most out of it that you can.

Hobbies or pastimes? When you have 4 small children, it is hard to have hobbies. Many of my hobbies involve doing things with my kids. Building Legos with Matthias is high on my list. Regarding other hobbies, I love working on my house. Currently between my wife’s particular taste and Dr. Olsson’s encouragement, I am considering trying to build my own cabinets. We will see how that goes…..

Would you rather take a written final or an oral final? Oral any day! Partly this is because of a great moment I had in regards an oral final during my freshman year. Another student and I went back in forth in class about who was superior, Achilles or Hector. Our debated continued all semester long outside of class. In my oral final, the professor asked me which character from the semester I admired most. I said Achilles and then ran through my arguments. Later that day, I ran into my classmate. She had gotten the same question in her oral final. When she was asked, she froze and could not think of any name of any character except for Achilles. So she said Achilles and then ran through all the arguments that I had been making to her all semester. I felt wonderfully vindicated!

Can you share the best advice you ever received? I’ll go with St. Paul’s advice to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12 “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” Sorry for the NIV translation. I learned the verse when I was a protestant and I still like this translation of this verse best.