Release Date: 10/1/2013
Dr. Pete LeRoy, assistant professor of health and physical education, began teaching at Ozarks in August and already he feels right at home.
"So far, my favorite things about teaching at Ozarks are the small classes and how well I can get to know the students. The modern campus is wonderful. I make use of the available technology every day. The students, faculty, and staff are all friendly, which I would expect as a native Arkansan. I feel right at home here," LeRoy said.
A Jenny Lind, Ark., native, LeRoy earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in physical education from Henderson State University before moving to Oregon to pursue a second master's degree in health education and, ultimately, a Ph.D. in public health from Oregon State University.
"I wanted to be a coach and teacher, and I did that for a couple of years. But, I was really taken by the health professions early on, and I wanted to work in a university setting," he explained.
LeRoy's career as a university professor is impressive. His work has taken him all over the country with faculty positions in New Mexico, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, Montana, Arizona, and Texas.
Now, LeRoy has returned to his home state and his excited about beginning the next chapter of his career at Ozarks, which recently added a new health sciences major.
"Being a native Arkansan and having family in the area, I thought it would be wonderful to work here and be able to be closer to my friends and family," Dr. LeRoy explained. "I was happy to accept the position at Ozarks, and I'm eager to do what I can to help build the health science major here."
LeRoy says working with college students is an exhilarating profession, and he is particularly fond of working with students in the health sciences.
"College students can be very creative when given the opportunity. Getting to know my students and their opinions and ideas is what keeps me going in this field," he said. "It's been my experience that healthcare is always looking for new, competent, and dedicated professionals. That's what I find exciting about preparing students to enter this field."
LeRoy and his wife, Kathleen, currently live in Hartman, Ark., but they love to travel, both nationally and internationally. In fact, they have visited all 48 of the contiguous United States and spent two months traveling in Scotland, Ireland, and France during the summer of 2013.
"I think international travel really broadens one's horizons. I like to read the various histories of the countries I'm visiting. I also like tracing our ancestors back and visiting the countries they came from. It's intriguing and fun," LeRoy said.
Switzerland tops the list of his favorite places to visit followed closely by Paris, France.
"Switzerland is a beautiful country," he said. "It is so serene and pastoral. Everything is efficient and clean. It's a real treat to visit Switzerland. Plus, my ancestors are from France and Switzerland, so that makes it extra special."