Campus Closeup: Andy Poe


Andy Poe (Mathematics and Computer Science), now in his eighth year at Northern, is living his dream job of being a college professor. He said it's something he has wanted to do since he was a kid.

“This is my only grown-up job, ever,” Poe said.

Poe teaches all levels of computer science courses. He is responsible for running and organizing the annual computer programming contest and coaches contest participants. But he regards teaching as his primary duty. “I love teaching. That’s why I came to NMU, where teaching is very important,” said Poe.

In addition to maintaining professional development in his field, Poe serves as secretary to the Academic Senate. He assists students with graduate-level preparation when requested.

One of Poe’s most memorable teaching experiences was when he took a programming team to Montréal for a contest about two years ago. Both he and the students enjoyed exposure to a place in which French, not English, is the primary spoken language.

Another favored teaching memory is from the annual computer programming contest held in 2001. NMU beat Michigan Tech by a large margin, which surprised everyone involved.

Besides cultivating a passion for education, Poe maintains an active interest in singing. He was involved in the Peninsula Arts Appreciation Council production of The Rocky Horror Show for the past two years at the Vista Theatre in Negaunee. The first year, he played the narrator. This fall, he was cast as the lead character, Frankenfurter, which required him to don heels and fishnet stockings.

Poe’s enthusiasm for singing dates back to his childhood. He was active in a cappella groups during his college career. Although there are no a cappella groups for him to join in the area, Poe collects albums and follows the art form.

Poe came to the Upper Peninsula from upstate New York. He said the climate and topography of the two locations are similar.

“Winter is comforting; it reminds me of my childhood,” Poe said.

In his free time, Poe likes to spend time with his four nieces and nephews. He keeps up with the Harry Potter books and enjoys Star Trek.

“It’s perfectly natural for computer geeks to be Trekkies. A lot of computer people are into that sort of thing,” Poe said.


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Updated: January 17, 2007

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