By Emmy Liederman
With the end of the semester approaching, it is commonplace for students to skip meals and go to class hungry in the midst of pre-finals stress. In 1989, The Signal profiled geology professor Frederic Goldstein, who did more for students than just teach classes— Goldstein would often sell students snacks in between classes for just a few cents in case they didn’t have time to grab something to eat.
Although Goldstein was offered a lot of higher paying positions throughout his career, he stayed at the College due to an undeniable commitment to his students. The profile ends with some words of wisdom from the professor to the campus community— he writes, “Enjoy life now, there aren’t any guarantees. But you are here for four years, don’t blow it. Take advantage of the educational opportunities. Life is to be consumed in big bites and swallows.”
How does one professor at Trenton State College make life easier for his students? Dr. Fredric R. Goldstein, professor of geology, has coffee, tea, hot chocolate, brownies and scooter pies available for his students during class breaks. Students place a small fee (for example, tea is 5 cents) in a cup and help themselves.
“During breaks, students don’t have to rush to the Student Center in the rain and cold,” Goldstein said. “These coffee breaks also help to make the students feel comfortable and relaxed.”
Goldstein, a native of Brooklyn, New York, became interested in geology through a fascination with dinosaurs. This fascination, which he acquired in third grade, led him to study earth sciences and geology in college.
“I just never outgrew my liking for dinosaurs,” Goldstein said. This fascination also led him to a doctorate degree from Rutgers in 1974.
Goldstein’s main intentions were to become a teacher. Three major oil companies, Texaco, Exxon and Mobil, were all interested in his services as a geologist. He turned down all of their offers to become a professor at Trenton State in 1973. When he was up for tenure, he had a job waiting for him at Texaco, which included a salary double what he is presently making as a professor.
Goldstein received his tenure and stayed at Trenton State. Money was no factor in his decisions, he said. “My greatest reward in teaching is meeting the people. I am pleased to see that when my students leave Trenton State they are able to compete with students from around the country.”