Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Dr. Juan Carlos Huerta

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Dr. Juan Carlos Huerta

The Power of Politics

From the time he was a young boy watching the Watergate hearings on television with his mother, Dr. Juan Carlos Huerta has been interested in politics. Enthralled, he looked on as the U.S. Congress debated whether or not to impeach the president of the most powerful nation in the world. Today, Huerta, the chair of the Political Science Education section of the American Political Science Association (APSA), uses the same technique in the classroom to make political science come alive for his students. Taking advantage of the nation’s insatiable thirst for politics and the 24-hour news cycle, he urges them to listen to all sides before taking a stand on any issue. When students ask him about his political affiliation, he tells them it doesn’t matter and that they should look at issues through multiple perspectives. Huerta encourages them to make evidence-based decisions and not fall into ideological traps. He joined the University in 1995 and earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Texas A&M University and his master’s and doctorate from the University of Houston. As a professor of political science and co-director of the University Core Curriculum Programs, he teaches political science majors and entry-level students in the First Year Learning Communities Program. Huerta points out that politics are even more exciting for students today because the baby-boomer issues that have defined our political system are fading. He feels fulfilled when students realize that political science isn’t just about memorizing facts, it’s about events that affect their lives. If there’s one thing Huerta wants to impress on his students, it’s that democracy is a big responsibility. He says understanding our political system helps students grow as individuals and as members of society.

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