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Family connection to ASU grows for 60-year-old teaching grad

December 08, 2009

Robert Weiss-Malik is launching a new career at age 60, while continuing a family tradition of Sun Devil connections. He recently completed his ASU student-teaching experience at Desert Vista High School in the Tempe Union High School District and is looking forward to inspiring young minds as a science teacher.

In a sense, Weiss-Malik is playing catch-up with his three children. Daughter Rachael and sons Michael and Andy have all attended ASU, and two are graduates. All five members of his immediate family, including Robert’s wife, Linda, have been ASU employees.

Weiss-Malik’s stint as a student teacher is the culmination of his pursuit of a master’s degree in education through ASU’s College of Teacher Education and Leadership (CTEL). He brings a master’s degree in engineering geology from Kent State University and years of experience as an executive in the environmental services industry to the classroom.

“I was looking to try something different, so I did some soul searching,” Weiss-Malik says. “I’ve always liked getting up in front of people and working with young people.”

A stint as a substitute teacher confirmed that teaching was a good fit, and he enrolled in ASU’s master’s degree/teacher certification program.

Doug Honaker, a CTEL supervisor of student teachers who oversaw Weiss-Malik’s stint at Desert Vista, sings his praises.

“I was enthralled with Robert’s lessons, and so were his students,” Honaker says. “Robert brings his life experiences to the classroom and works hard to reach out to all of his students.”

He was particularly impressed by Weiss-Malik’s use of a PowerPoint presentation demonstrating how a seismologist would plot the location of an earthquake using triangulation techniques.

“It’s extremely rewarding when you see students’ eyes light up and you realize they understand the concept you’re teaching,” says the latest member of the Weiss-Malik family to join the ranks of Sun Devil alumni.

Media contact:

Matt Crum
(602) 543-5209