Hilary Nixon pushes each of her students to be better communicators in their daily lives.
Nixon, instructor of speech on the Levelland campus of South Plains College, has taught at SPC for two years, one year part-time at Texas Tech University and one year full time.
Nixon says that she never really wanted to be a teacher, and hated public speaking. When she started graduate school, she was thrown into teaching and loved it. Her favorite part of teaching is watching the growth in students during the semester. She sees the improvements they make, even if they cannot recognize them.
Many students refer to Nixon as a really cool and fun professor. She is always helping her students out.
Nixon attended Midland College and Texas Tech University, majoring in Communications Studies with a minor in Economics.
She tells her students to start thinking about their future early and learn to be better
communicators. She said that she believes this is a skill that will be useful in every career.
Speech is not the only thing she has taught, though.
“I became a gymnastics coach when I attended Midland High School and did that for a part-time job while in school,” said Nixon. “I started doing gymnastics when I was 3 years old.”
Nixon took a break from teaching gymnastics, but just could not stay away. In 2009, she decided to return to coaching in Lubbock.
Larry Nassar, a physician for USA Gymnastics, recently was sentenced to 175-plus years in prison after being accused of sexually assaulting more than 50 female gymnasts. For decades, he was said to have molested athletes under the guidance of his medical treatments. This was one of the worst sexual abuse scandals in the history of sports. It angered parents of many of the young athletes.
“I feel as though this is very disturbing and disgusting,” said Nixon. “Being a gymnastics coach, this was very shocking and difficult to hear about.”
Nixon coached and taught many students who attended the Olympic training camps that Nassar was present at each year. So this scandal hit very close to home for Nixon.
“ It made me wonder if any of my past students may have been hurt by this man,” she said.
Although this did not happen, she still felt very sad for the girls who were involved in the situation. Nixon says that the gymnastics world is very stressful. It’s the kind of environment where everyone works hard to make it. So hearing about a doctor taking advantage of athletes was unimaginable for Nixon.
Nixon also has other activities she enjoys in her spare time.
“I enjoy traveling with my husband and love outdoor activities with family and friends during my free time,” said Nixon.
Nixon and her husband have been to Mexico, Jamaica, Alaska, and almost every Western state.
When they are not able to travel, Nixon and her husband enjoy spending time with her family and friends outside, having a BBQ and playing outdoor games.
“I enjoy working for South Plains College,” Nixon said, “and most importantly enjoy making a difference in my students’ lives.”