Thirty years ago, if you asked Economics Adjunct Faculty member Steve Tucholski what he wanted to do with this life, his answer would have been to end up exactly where he is now: retired from corporate life and back to teaching economics. Tucholski was teaching economics during the evenings after his day job—loving every minute of it—but his “day job” required him to travel.
“I was 35 years old at the time, and I remember thinking about how I wanted ‘this thing called my work life’ to play out,” he said. “A lot of things throughout my life aligned to make it happen, including having my wife’s full support, and I’m so happy it happened at ECC.”
It a twist of fate, and through the applied principles of economics, Tucholski has been teaching at ECC since 2013, where his greatest joy is seeing students’ faces light up when they grasp the course concepts.
“Teaching economics is more than teaching the principles of supply and demand, it’s teaching self-efficacy and building students up for a brighter future.”
We caught up with Tucholski to learn more about his life and his work at ECC. Here is what he had to say.
What would you do if you were ECC president for a day?
Dr. Sam’s job…hmmm…he has to keep a lot of constituents happy, deal with the state budget mess, etc., but this place seems to be humming, so I think I would ask Dr. Sam not to take the day off. Sorry Dr. Sam! Oh, wait…the parking space…
If there was a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?
Bradley Cooper. Yeah, he’s good.
What’s on your “bucket list?”
Grandkids, I hope. Visiting Italy and Charleston, SC. Owning a lake house. Having a very organized garage.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I used to say working around the yard…not so much anymore! I still have a few tomato plants and a container shade garden on the deck, but that’s it. I really enjoy travelling with my family, and when my wife and I can get away on our own. Golf, guitar, and grilling are definitely interests of mine as well.
Where was the best place you’ve traveled to? Or, where would you like to visit?
I’m fortunate to have travelled quite a bit for pleasure and for business. On the personal side, I’d have to say our honeymoon in Hawaii was quite awesome. What a paradise! On the business side, I’d choose St. Andrews, Scotland.
What’s one fact we should know about you?
I’m emotional. I tear up when the bug dies in the Raid commercial.
What’s something about your job that others should know?
It’s not about me.
What would be your “theme song?”
“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey.
What was your favorite class in school (could be elementary, high school or college)?
Economics classes; I liked all of them. History, too.
What was your first job out of school?
I worked at National Family Opinion, a market research firm. One of their claims to fame is they did the surveys for the early People’s Choice Awards. It was very interesting work and so much of it was relevant to the field of economics.
What quote best describes your philosophy?
Never ever give up!
Complete this sentence: “I enjoy working at ECC because…”
It truly is a dream job. The people and the environment are awesome!