Don Tobin and his family moved here from Moscow, Idaho, in 2003 so that he could teach computer science and computer security classes for Fairmont State, his first full-time faculty job. Tobin earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Master of Science degree from Boston University. He has military experience in the areas of satellite control, communications, space surveillance, and airfield systems. A native of the Boston area, he served at several stateside and overseas locations. He took early retirement as an officer from the U.S. Air Force so he could work on his doctorate at the University at Idaho. Tobin says he enjoys teaching and wanted to come to a smaller institution where he could teach smaller classes and work more closely with students. One of his favorite quotes is from Willy Wonka, “We are the makers of dreams, the dreamers of dreams.” He does his best to instill this spirit into his computer science and computer security students in both the classroom and the undergraduate research program he is developing. Don is married to the former Nora Ryan of Tipperary, Ireland. They have four children active in the academic, athletic and cultural programs available in Fairmont.
I think the biggest thing I have learned so far as a full-time faculty member is that I need to take a more active role in making contacts with local industry in my field. Besides giving me a feel of what is current out there, it also gives me a strong sense of the job market and allows me to help students job hunt better. Jobs are not posted in newspapers very often it seems, so I like to be able to talk to key folks at companies and ask them what they happen to have open or think may be coming open.
I like to think the students enjoy my enthusiasm for teaching the classes and how much I love how fast our field changes. New ideas in computing come out almost daily, so the opportunity for personal growth and learning new things is boundless.