Josh Harwood is a business professor here at SNHU and is also the advisor for the Kappa Delta Phi fraternity. Harwood grew up in his hometown of Sutton, New Hampshire. He was part of the last class that was accepted to New Hampshire College before they changed their name to Southern New Hampshire University and earned his degree in Business Administration with a minor in Sociology. He never expected to be teaching in the same classrooms that he once sat in.
“The one thing I never wanted to do was teach because my brother, my mom and my dad are all teachers,” he said. “So, I said, ‘there’s no way in heck I’m going into education or anything thereof,’ and here I am teaching.”
Harwood’s dream job was and will always be to become a meteorologist. He acknowledged that his math and science skills weren’t exactly up to par, and that’s why he has yet to try and pursue it. However, he explained that if he were ever able to improve on those skills, he would most definitely try to become one.
“I’ve always been interested in weather, but I like the…speaking in front of people when they are not actually there, because I actually don’t like speaking in front of people,” he said. “People get so surprised…but I can talk to millions of people when it’s just one camera…I just thought it would be a fun job. You can always be wrong in [that] profession and still have a job.”
Harwood eventually chose the more realistic path of becoming a manager and worked for Hannaford for 17 years. He loved what he did, however, toward the end of his managing career, he realized that there was no more room for growth. He eventually made the decision to start teaching, first at Daniel Webster College and then at Manchester Community College.
Harwood started working at SNHU in January 2016 after reconnecting with one of his old professors, Sue Losapio.
“She said there was a lecture opening here, and I was already teaching at other colleges and I said, ‘what the heck?’ It was a year and a half commitment, and I might not have a job after a year and a half, but…I’ll take the risk and thankfully, I’m here permanently now…it was a risky decision to make, and it was the right decision,” he said.
When asked what changed his mind on being a teacher, Harwood explained that his parents had pushed him to earn a master’s degree. He chose education for a reason that even he now disagrees with.
“I said, ‘I’m going to pick the one that looks the easiest. I’m getting a master’s degree in Education,’” said Harwood. “That looked the easiest-[it] definitely was not.”
Harwood then went on to talk about how in his first day of classes for his master’s degree, his professor, Steve Booth, completely changed his view on teaching.
“I wanted to be a teacher because of him,” he said. “So, after my master’s program…I started dabbling [in teaching], and I just naturally fell in love because of that one person.”
Harwood mentioned four professors that he had here at SNHU who pushed him out of his comfort zone and amazed him with the amount of knowledge they were able to share. Andrea Bard in Communications helped him get over his fear of public speaking and made him love doing it in her class, and Frank Catano in Sociology blew him away with his vast knowledge on his subject. Harwood shared a story about Steve Booth in Business in which Booth told the class that he would randomly call on people to talk about a chapter and called on Harwood in the second class of the semester to do so, but Harwood had not read. From that moment on, Harwood was always prepared for class, and he credits Booth with teaching him that people will usually follow through with what they say. However, of all his mentors, he mostly credits Sue Losapio for his current success.
“Losapio-we kept in contact after graduation, she had my wife in class, she knows the family and she is the one that made that first contact that got me back to campus and I always try to teach like her. She’s the go-to mentor,” he said.
When asked what his favorite part is about teaching here at SNHU, Harwood said that not only are students “awesome,” but also, his job is “different every day.” He commented on his affinity for having every student as his advisee, saying he likes to “actively recruit.” He also explained what he wants students to take away from his classes and how he hopes the relevance of what he teaches will change.
“You might not learn anything in my class, and that’s okay because everything I teach, you’ll understand five years later,” he said. “A lot of the stuff I teach is everyday things that might not relate to anybody right now, but I hope that it will actually relate to them five, six, seven years from now and they’ll be like, ‘oh yeah, Harwood taught me that.’”
When Harwood is not teaching, he can be found binge-watching The Office. He has memorized the name of every episode and has a tattoo from the show. He also loves to go on road trips and travel; he has a goal to visit all fifty states. In addition to those interests, Harwood spends a great deal of time with his family which consists of his wife and their two daughters. However, he acknowledged the fact that most of his time is spent at SNHU, and his family supports him in that.
“I love this place. If they could just give me a dorm somewhere, the whole family would move in,” he said. “If I just had to give general worldly wisdom: Make contacts…and always know when to take a break…It’s okay to turn off. I tell students in class that if you know you need a mental day, it’s okay. If it’s for the right reasons, turn your brain off and throw a frisbee around and stop thinking about school.”