Professor follows new path after career change

By Victoria De Souza

Vanessa Moffett aspires to improve the lives of students while having a fun time exercising. 

Moffett is an assistant professor in the Kinesiology Department at South Plains College.

Growing up in Littlefield, Texas, her relationship with SPC began at an early age.

“I took swimming lessons and went to band camp at SPC,” recalls Moffett. “I became familiar with it at age 5 or 6 when I took swimming lessons.”

In 2019, Moffett is starting her 15th year of being part of the SPC facility. She teaches Cardio Kickboxing, Yoga, Latin/Swing/Ballroom Dance 1 and 2, Fitness and Wellness, and Drug Use and Abuse.

Professor Vanessa Moffet found her
passion for kinesiology at South
Plains College.

Moffett shared that in the beginning of her college career she had a tough time choosing a major that she was passionate about it.

“I have always wanted to go into marine biology,” Moffet explained. “But since I received a feature twirling position at Texas Tech University, and Tech did not have that degree, I started college as a Pre-med major to be an ER surgeon.”

After starting college, Moffett said she tried several majors inside of the medical field, along with teaching.

“I thought about double-majoring in psychology and kinesiology,” said Moffett, “but I ended up simply majoring in psychology.”

She pursued her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in the same field to become a teacher.

“I thought about clinical psychology, as I worked in that field as a graduate student,” Moffett explained. “However, I decided to go with teaching.”

 After receiving her master’s degree, Moffett decided to start her career as a Psychology instructor at SPC. Coincidentally, she started to teach at SPC in the same year as her father, Larry Moffett, who started teaching in the Math and Engineering Department.

teacher“While going to school, I wanted to teach at SPC because I always heard good things about the school, and my family was still in this area,” said Moffett.

Working as a psychology instructor showed her that being a traditional classroom teacher was not her passion. 

“I came from an athletic background where I was always training for a competition or performance, so transitioning to a lecturer position in Psychology was tough,” she said.

Her experience of being in a classroom led Moffett to go back to school and pursue her Master of Science degree in Kinesiology at the University of Texas Telecampus. She later transferred to the Kinesiology Department at SPC.

“Moving to the Kinesiology Department was a great decision for me,” said Moffett. “It is much more active and keeps me moving throughout the day.”

Teaching kinesiology courses gives her the opportunity to practice her job and have a lot of fun with her students.

“I get to teach ‘fun stuff’ with a lot of variety and activity,” Moffett explained. “I get to exercise and stay active throughout my workday.”

Besides enjoying her job, Moffett also enjoys gardening, dancing, decorating and keeping her 1967 Mustang running during her free time. Scuba diving and water activities are also among her favorite activities to do.

“I’ve drawn inspiration from several people and had several role models in my life,” said Moffett. “The most significant would be my parents, sister, and other family members.”

Moffett recommends that students choose a career that they love.

“Don’t choose for the money or any other reason,” said Moffett. “Choose something you’re passionate about, and work will not feel as much like work.”  

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