March 19, 2009
During my first term at DePaul in the fall of 2008, I found myself enrolled in Prof. Morales’ global economics course, Global Connections. Due to the engaging and fascinating quality of the course material and the caring and enthusiastic pedagogical skills of Prof. Morales I excelled in the course. It sparked such an interest in me that I soon transferred from the Communications school to devote my studies to the international arena. I had a feeling that my education in this field would not end soon.
In January of this year Antonio contacted me about a research study that he had been asked to conduct in his free time. Along with three other young men, Randall Towner, Brian Cihlaar, and Ross Richmond, I was asked to aid in the collection and analysis of data concerning our current economic recession. Antonio was excited about this opportunity for all of us. He is a man who loves to teach, and despite the study being completely voluntary and time consuming, he not only took on the bulk of the research but devoted hours of his time to instructing us in the methods of research. Our research culminated in a detailed and comprehensive presentation explaining the effects of America’s economic woes on the rest of the world. I am personally proud to have been asked to participate in such a rapid response to the crisis. I must stress that Antonio’s work has made it possible for many people including myself to gain a higher understanding of the perplexing and troubling events currently unfolding.
It is the devotion and passion that he brings to his work that nearly immediately won my respect and admiration for Antonio. The man lives and breathes his work, his excitement is visible and contagious. I know that this trait has always existed in him, even while he lived under Fidel Castro’s Communist regime in Cuba for over five decades where he was the most qualified and experienced Professor of Economics at the University of Havana. Since arriving in the United States, Antonio has found his way to our institution where he is employed as adjunct faculty. Antonio is a man of incredible experience, aptitude, and adaptability with a spirit that is indomitable.
January 14, 2009
To whom it may concern:
DePaul University has had a very profound impact on not only my academic career, but my life as a whole. Four or five years in a lifetime is no short amount of time, but considering the ages of eighteen and twenty-two, they may be the most impactful and developmental years in anyone’s life. As a senior now, I have been reflecting on the dramatic changes that have occurred, and the people that have been especially impactful in my life.
In the fall of the ’08-’09 academic year, I was fortunate enough to take an International Studies course with Dr. Antonio Morales-Pita. It was clear after only several minutes in this man’s class, that he was an instructor who took nothing for granted. Even considering this was the first day back to classes after a long summer break, the professor had every student at the edge of his or her seat.
I took an immediate liking to this man, who was very frank about his travels and his struggle to finally arrive in America, with places like Wales, the Soviet Union, and Southern Mexico as stops on his attempt to leave his oppressive home, Cuba. While I was impressed by his story and his very enthusiastic classes, the doctor reciprocated my admiration by informing me of my, as he put it, “natural affinity for economics.”
After one of our classes had been dismissed, only a week or two into the quarter, the doctor challenged me by asking me about my interpretation of the Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke’s lowering of the interest rates. Having never previously taken an economics course, or even anything similar such as global relations, I was flattered by his inquiry. I informed him that I believed at the time, that the lowering of the rates was premature, as it only raised consumers and investors insecurities about the American economy. He agreed with me, but that was beside the point. He informed me of my ability to succeed in the field, and challenged me to further my knowledge of economics.
The Doctor suggested I take his macroeconomics course in the fall. It was clear that I wanted to continue my education in economics, especially after having met an instructor that so easily brings enthusiasm to the subject, and has such command of it as well. The doctor, in a very short time, introduced me to economics, and that changed the way in which I view the world and interpret news.
I will graduate a communications major; however it is only because I do not have time to add a second major, which would certainly be economics. Since I will be commencing this June, most of my remaining curriculum had already been determined before enrolling for this current winter quarter. I was fortunate though to have had an open elective remaining of my final seven courses needed to graduate. I decided before completing my first course with the doctor, that I would take a second if possible. Macroeconomics, as he suggested, seemed to be the perfect fit for my situation. I was going to add the course, but a problem arose.
Here, a digression is necessary. Having had family and relatives that struggled mightily when entering this country many years ago, I was very intrigued by the doctor’s harrowing journey to America, and eventual citizenship. The doctor told me of his travels, and the difficulties that it took to not only educate himself in places such as Kiev, but also to leave his family in Havana, in order to attain freedom. Having learned the strife in which he had to endure, and the losses that were so great, I felt honored to learn from a man that would go to such great lengths, in order to secure a promising future for him and his wife.
If I may, I will return to the course enrollment process from October of ‘08. I learned that in order to enroll in the Doctor’s course, I needed either to pass and complete a MTH 130 course, or pass out of that course via a math placement test. Since I did not have either the time, or available credits, taking MTH 130 was not possible. I decided to take the placement test, fully aware that my mathematical skills were not that of the required ability to pass. I did not do well on the test, and was caught in a conundrum, as I most certainly wanted to learn economics, but I truly wanted to continue learning from this great man. I needed to get to my destination, that being the macro course, and unfortunately it appeared as though I were caught at a dead end. Being familiar with Dr Morales’ most strenuous and physically as well as emotionally taxing journey, made in hopes of achieving what he truly desired, gave me the inspiration and motivation to not merely accept my situation. Over the following few days, I drafted a letter that described my desire to continue learning economics, and learn from this outstanding professor. I then sent it off to the Assistant Dean and Director of the Undergraduate Commerce Department, Karen Burgard.
The Assistant Dean was extremely gracious, and after checking with Dr Morales-Pita, who was thrilled to recommend me, was apparently more than happy to add me to his class. I have now been able to begin my macroeconomics course, and have seen very much the same reaction amongst a completely different set of students. Our course in the fall was in Lincoln Park, and was attended by mainly Liberal Arts & Sciences students, as opposed to this course which is in the Loop, is at night, and is composed of mainly Commerce students. However, after only fifteen minutes of our first class, the assembly of students went from a clearly agitated position, to being evidently entertained and fascinated by what this remarkable man had to offer.
It was last week that I learned of the Doctor’s Instructor of the Year Award in 2007. This is clearly deserved, as proven by each student’s attentiveness in all of his classes. No professor I have encountered can bring about such a light hearted sentiment to the classroom, and still accomplish so much. A further testament to his abilities, the doctor scheduled a volunteer politico-economic seminar for any of his students from the winter quarter on December 2nd, over a week after most students returned home. Even with most of the campus deserted, several students attended and participated, making it one of the most informational and educational meetings I have even been a part of, and the students did this out of respect for the doctor. Regardless of whoever may be reading this, whether it be an administrator, faculty, a fellow professor, a student, or Dr Morales himself, it is absolutely necessary that this man at the very minimum is informed of the value of his lessons, classes, and the mentality in which he always brings to learning. He is incredibly approachable and will go to any length to help a student in need. It is my opinion that this man be recognized once again, with at least Instructor of the Year. As a student in his final year at this wonderful institution, with all of the incredible people and professors at this school that have affected me, none has had more of an impact on my life than Dr Antonio Morales-Pita, and he is certainly deserving of knowing that.
June 14, 2007
Though my experience at DePaul is limited, I can say with certainty that your class has been the most enjoyable. This is is due partly from the material but mostly from the teaching. Teaching is a profession that I have always greatly admired [text removed]. It would be an honor to have the book signed by you, unfortunately there will not be a time for me to acquire one before i leave for the summer. If you would be so kind as to send one to me, I would greatly appreciate it.
[text removed] I hope that there is another class in the DePaul real-estate curriculum that i can take from you, but if not it was a pleasure being your student and I anxiously await the arrival of your book.
Thanks so much.
[text removed] I really learned a lot in your class, and now feelprepared for my International Political Economy and States Markets andSocieties classes next year. Furthermore, I also feel like a more educatedvoter! So thank you for being one of the best professors I’ve encounteredat DePaul. I would definitely like to purchase a copy of your book, andalso talk to you about it once I read it. I’ll have to order it by mailand send you a check. Thanks again for the compliments and encouragement!
June 19, 2007
Hello Professor Morales,
I finished reading your book on Sunday, but I did not have time to email you about it until tonight because of summer school and working full time now. I apologize for the delay.
I read the book so fast and could not put it down, just like you said. I really enjoyed the book especially in how you told the story. Most importantly though, I enjoyed your story and its meaning. I had no idea how bad communism was for a country and its people and you not only gave me a brief history lesson, but you gave me inspiration and motivation to be tenacious in everything that I do in life from now on. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your life’s struggles and how you overcame them with much persistence and drive. I only hope one day to be as successful as you in terms of setting goals and accomplishing them. Thank you for your meaningful and inspiring story!
Also, I just wanted to thank you for such a good class in Macroeconomics. I used to hate economics before the class and you actually made me enjoy it. I really learned a lot in the class and I am sure I will be able to apply these concepts to my everyday life. I will definitely keep you posted on my successes and I will keep in touch as well. Thank you!
I would also like to thank you for sharing your life with me through your book. I really enjoyed it and am inspired by the journey you have taken to get to this part of your life and all the wisdom you learned along the way. One constant that stood out and really spoke to me was the support and love of Gladys. I was very glad that you described the personal side of your journey. I plan to live my message of helping to alleviate the poverty and inequality in our world and believe that my journey will take me all over and will be difficult but meaningful. That said, I am learning more and more the importance of support of others in life. Learning from your life’s story has helped make that more clear to me. On top of this lesson I learned the tenacity necessary to achieve one’s goals in life. I am incredibly impressed the devotion and hard work you committed to achieve your dreams. This lesson was one you told me about before I read the book and I already valued the importance of tenacity, but through your personal story I feel I have learned it on a deeper level and am even more committed to incorporating a more tenacious attitude in my life. Thank you for giving me the book, I will value it for years to come.
Finally Happy New Year to you and Gladys and all of your family!
My Dear Professor Morales,
I would like to sincerely thank you for all of your time and effort in making my understanding of economics much clearer through this current class, as well as the one I took last year as a freshman. I truly appreciate all your hard work and I understand what you mean when students don’t take the full opportunity of what is presented to them through ways of education and attending class. It has been a real honor for me to have had you for 2 classes. Hopefully I will see you in the future. I will also try to attend your talk on the 19th about your book in Lincoln Park. Also, with your permission, in the future for a job or an internship, I would like to use you as possible reference.
So again, thank you for everything. The pleasure has truly been mine.
Your Student, Timothy P.
November 23, 2006
Dear Professor Morales-Pita:
First of all, I would like to thank you for your congratulations. [text removed] So second of all, I would like to thank you for your great passion for teaching. Never before have I had a professor go to such great lengths in making sure that his or her students actually understand the material. [text removed]
I have heard before that every student that goes through college will encounter one professor that they will always remember. You are that professor for me. I have learned more in your economics class then I have in any other class I have taken so far at DePaul.
One thing that you said during class will stick with me for the remainder of my career here at DePaul, and someday when I have kids in school; “It is not about the grade that you receive in the class, it’s about how much you LEARN”. I think that a lot of students (including myself prior to your class), go through college so worried about what their GPA is that they forget the reason why they’re in college in the first place; to learn! So we cram for our exams the night before, and then after the exam we forget what it is that we studied for. From now on I will have a new approach.
I am very excited to read your book over break and learn how your surge for knowledge led you to be such a great professor, economist, and inspiring person. [text removed]
Dear Professor Morales-Pita,
I am ecstatic in hearing this excellent news! First and foremost, I would like to thank you for your support. I am fairly sure that without your support and encouragement, I would not have been able to put forth the maximum effort that I did [text removed]. Your class was easily one of the most challenging I have ever taken in any level of my education so far, but with that being said, it was also one of the most beneficial. The concepts that I learned (both in the actual class and from the effort necessary to pull through) were extremely valuable, and have helped me mature.
I am not in the college of business, I am in the college of digital media studying internet security. I took your class as an elective, because I knew that attaining knowledge of economics would help me for the rest of my life, and I can already say that this is true. I understand how businesses work now and am able to comprehend why certain decisions are made, which is very valuable.
I definitely would like to purchase your book. Your breath-taking, inspirational, and epic life story is one that is very impressive and fascinating to me. [text removed]
Thanks again for everything, words cannot express my gratitude for the knowledge you have helped me acquire.