At the urging of a former TU professor, Harry Shasho tried his hand at teaching more than 20 years ago, and he is still at it today.
After a stint in his family retail business, Harry Shasho found his way to TU, where he received a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He was completing his graduate degree in software engineering at Johns Hopkins University at night and working full time for the U.S. Department of Defense when a former professor approached him about teaching at TU.
“I was anxious and nervous about it, but he inspired me to give it a try as a guest lecturer for his class,” explains Shasho, who was soon traveling from his job in Fort Meade, Maryland, to the Towson University campus weekly. Shasho has logged thousands of miles commuting to TU in the more than two decades of teaching evening classes year round in the applied information technology graduate program.
Shasho has seen many changes in the field and at TU. “Data is everywhere today, and data management programs have changed,” he notes. I still enjoy the applied nature of the field.” In addition to moving from computer science to information technology in the late 1990s, explains Shasho, “I have transitioned to streaming classes online.”
Recognizing that less than 50 percent of his students work in IT-related fields, Shasho has made adjustments in his classroom, drawing on his work experience. “I like to present ideas and solutions that can be used on the job. Many of my students are working professionals, who benefit from the applied nature of the field and a hands-on rather than theoretical approach.”
Shasho is known for going the extra mile to help students reach their academic goals, understanding the balance between their family, work and academic commitments. “I often serve as a reference for my students. It is fulfilling to see them advance in their careers.”