Name: Forrest Blackbourn

Hometown: Starkville, Miss.

Degrees earned: B.A. in Spanish, M.A. in Spanish and French, Ph.D. in romance languages

What courses do you teach? Elementary, intermediate and advanced Spanish and French courses, Migration and the U.S. Latino/a Experience

How long have you been at Dalton State? Two and a half years

Why did you choose Dalton State? When I finished my Ph.D., I was looking for a tenure-track position and applied to jobs all over the country. When I read the advertisement for the position at Dalton State, I felt that it “had my name on it,” so to speak. During my interview, President Venable asked me, “Why Dalton State?” I told her that I was interested in a state job in a robust system like the University System of Georgia, that I was excited about the community opportunities related to Spanish and that I liked small towns that are close to big cities. 

What does it mean to you to be part of the Roadrunner Nation? It means a great deal to me. I’ve had amazing students who have taught me a thing or two. My colleagues have shown me how to be a real educator at a truly student-centered institution. Also, I met the love of my life and have a family. All of my dreams came true in Dalton. 

Did you always plan to teach at the college level? Why or why not? Yes. When I think about my time in college, I remember professors who invested in my success at an extremely formative time in my life. Since then, I have always wanted to have a positive influence on college students with the hope that they will share the same positivity with others in their careers. 

What do you like best about teaching at Dalton State? The faculty parking is pretty solid.   

What are some of your biggest achievements or accomplishments while at Dalton State? Growing the Spanish curriculum and starting the honors program. 

What are some of your favorite activities in and around Dalton? I like to run. I’m an involved member at Dalton First United Methodist Church. My family and I like to go to brunch on the weekends in Dalton or in Chattanooga. 

What is the last book you read? Natchez Burning, by Greg Iles

Favorite comfort food? Jambalaya

If you had a theme song, what would it be? “We Built This City” by Jefferson Starship (moderately embarrassing, but very true)

What is your guilty pleasure? Zaxby’s

What do you feel most proud of? My wife, Andrea, and my daughters, Zaelyn and Blythe.

What is your favorite book? The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Díaz

If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet? Jesus Christ

What is your favorite app? Twitter

Where is your favorite place to eat? Rain Thai Bistro in Chattanooga

What did you want to be when you were a kid? Quarterback for the Dallas Cowboy

As a Roadrunner, how do you Run Boldly? With relentless effort and a smile on my face