HoC: Professor Brad Hughes

Humans of Chaffey

Professor Brad Hughes.

Professor Brad Hughes.

Chaffey College astronomy professor, Brad Hughes, spoke of having a strong interest in space and the universe from the age of 6. As an undergrad student at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, he originally intended to pursue the field of astrophysics, but a professor in his undergrad program suggested that he study general astronomy instead. Although he's only been teaching at Chaffey for three years, Hughes stated that having a teaching job in the field is more rewarding than doing research because he gets to see the effect his teaching has on his students.

Seeing the students reflect on their work the way he has, according to Hughes, is rewarding as well. Hughes also mentioned an upcoming class starting in Fall 2020 called "Life in the Universe." Hughes explained that the class would cover the existence of exoplanets, which are planets in other stellar systems and galaxies that seem habitable like Earth. The course would also examine how life on other planets would form, be discovered, etc. and how to define a planet as potentially habitable as Earth.

Hughes explained that in the past planetarium shows were exhibited a lot more often. There used to be a show every two Fridays, one of which was called "Dynamic Earth". “Dynamic Earth" was a show that displayed riveting information about the Earth and climate change, humans’ contribution to said climate change. Hughes explained that these programs no longer take place due to financial issues , but he gave some more information on alternative shows that are available not only here on campus, but in the area as well. He relayed that San Antonio College (Mount SAC) provides excellent shows that exhibit the marvels of our solar system, as does the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.

Hughes also offered advice that applies to students who are preparing to pursue the field of science. He advises students to determine what they like to do, and how they can apply that to their respective field of study, goals, etc.

Along with his advice for students, he offered recommendations based on his own personal experiences and knowledge. Hughes revealed that in his early college years, he was more worried about relationships with others than his role in education. He used this kind of parable to emphasize a few key points. Instead of tormenting oneself, one should sit and ask what their motives are in life, or at least the time being, and to "be present in the moment", because the "future will show itself."