Classroom Connections: VMI
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 02/28/2019
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Courtesy: Southern Conference

VMI baseball player Corey Johnston and Dr. Louis Presysz

About Corey Johnston:
  • Redshirt junior
  • Righthanded pitcher from Chester, Va.
  • Majoring in biology

About Dr. Presysz: 

  • Professor, Economics and Business (Specialty: Marketing and Management)
  • Owns a BA from the University of Wisconsin/Madison, an MBA from the University of Utah and a graduate degree from Rutgers University
  • Has been teaching 35 years, 7 at VMI

Corey Johnston and Dr. Presysz in front of VMI's Old Barracks

Q&A with Corey Johnston:

  • What do you like most about Dr. Presysz's class? Professor Preysz is a very intelligent teacher who is interested in his students’ success. In class, he is interactive and relates classroom topics to the real-world. I think this is an important job when teaching because it allows students to better grasp difficult concepts. I also love how enthusiastic he is when he presents new topics because it shows that he loves teaching and interacting with his students.
  •  What makes Dr. Presysz a good teacher? Professor Preysz has been one of the most personable teachers I have been able to meet in all of my years as a student. He is always willing to answer questions and has always been curious about my personal life outside of the classroom including my aspirations and time spent with baseball. However, I believe Professor Preysz’ greatest quality as a teacher is his devotion as a Christian and his appreciation for life each day. All of these qualities help to encapsulate his devotion to his students and his love to teach.
  • What is something you’re involved in outside of class and sports that we may not know? For the past few summers, I have spent time with my previous doctors at MCV/VCU hospital in Richmond to understand how these doctors work in the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology unit. I have gotten to experience just how much time, effort, dedication, and love that all of these doctors, nurses, and others put forth to better the lives of children with cancer. It is an experience that I would not take back for a second, because it’s given me a different perspective on life. My Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist is a person who I strive to become as she cares for her patients and their families far beyond the average doctor.
  • How do you manage academics, athletics and a social life? What is your key to good time management? VMI is an amazing place to go to school in that it forces you to acquire the skill of time management. Each day, there is a multitude of places you are required to attend, including formations and all classes. At a school like such, it is difficult to balance academics, athletics, and one’s social life because there are so many time constraints. That being said, I think with many things in life, you get in what you put out. I attend classes throughout most of the day, then go to the baseball field, and then my only time to study is in the evenings usually past 8:00. I am aware that most schools have more time to study, and more time to practice, and I think the beauty of VMI is that it forces me to make the most of each situation. I am forced to work hard at practice with the little time we have. I am forced to study longer, because of the busy daily schedules. I am forced to work harder and longer because I know that other people have those luxuries. That is what makes VMI such a hard place to attend and to graduate from.
  • What is your favorite spot on post? My favorite spot on post is definitely the baseball field. After a long day of classes, I get to spend time at the field doing what I love. At the same time, it is no sanctuary from everyday VMI constraints. I still have to focus, I still have to work harder than my teammates, and I still have to make the most of my time getting better at the field, because I know that at any other school, they spend longer hours at practice and in the gym and so on, so I have to make sure that I am always focused and show up prepared to get better each day.
  • What are your plans post grad? After graduation, I plan on attending medical school. I am applying for a variety of medical schools this summer as well as taking the MCAT. I have long aspired to be a physician studying in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. I have been surrounded with doctors, nurses, and others in this field for most of my life, and it has always been a goal of mine to help others, which is something I have always been passionate about.

 Q&A with Dr. Presysz:

  • What was it like having Corey in your class? Corey was an outstanding student in my class.  He was attentive, always prepared, engaged, with a pleasant and joyful demeanor.  In my over 35 years of teaching, Corey was one of the very best students I ever had in class.  Corey knows what he wants as to career choice, to be a medical doctor.  I know he will be an excellent physician and if he were one now, I would be his patient.
  • What is your favorite sport or hobby? What do you like to do in your free time? My favorite sport is college baseball. In my free time I like to watch college level sports and read.
  • What’s your favorite spot on post? My favorite spot on post is the Jackson Memorial Hall where I can meditate and pray in a peaceful environment.
  • How often are you able to watch Corey compete? I try to watch Corey compete whenever there is a VMI home game and I don’t have a conflict with my work schedule. 
  • What is your favorite thing about teaching? My favorite thing about teaching is my interaction with cadets, knowing them as individuals, and trying to help them succeed in whatever endeavor they choose.  I love cadets!

About Classroom Connections: Classroom Connections is a new, bi-weekly feature that showcases student-athletes away from the playing field and highlights the relationship between student-athlete and professor. 

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