Featured Tigers is a monthly series wherein the spotlight shines on a few students, alumni, faculty and staff from our Crete, Lincoln and Omaha campus locations. These individuals stand out in the best way — as talented and driven leaders.
View all Featured Tigers here.
What is your name and title?
Dr. Dan Clanton, associate professor of religious studies
How long have you taught at Doane?
This is my 16th year at Doane, and I wanted to teach in a small, liberal arts college because that's the kind of school I went to as an undergraduate.
What do you consider the best part of your Doane experience?
The best part of my Doane experience is getting to know my students better because of our small class sizes, working with my amazing colleagues, and the opportunities Doane provides for faculty to do research and travel abroad.
What is something you're proud of accomplishing or achieving while at Doane?
I'm really proud of the grant we recently received from the National Endowment for the Humanities to start our new academic program in Ethics and Interfaith Studies, a program that's student-focused and interdisciplinary.
Do you have a favorite class to teach? If so, what about it makes it your favorite?
I love teaching all my classes, but my favorite is probably the class on Homer I teach for the Honors Program. We read all of the Iliad and Odyssey, and these are foundational texts in understanding our human experience. There are worlds in those ancient poetic songs.
Are you pursuing research this year? If so, what are you researching and what excites you about it?
I'm finishing up a book on religion in Agatha Christie's stories featuring her detective Hercule Poirot. I'm really excited about it because Christie is a very popular writer whose works are still being made into feature films, and no one has done much work on how she uses and depicts religion in her books. This will be the seventh book I've written or edited, and I hope to write more!
What is some advice you would give to current students? Or, what is some advice you've received that you value?
My advice to students to embrace the opportunities our liberal arts education offers them. Try and understand different perspectives, go to concerts and speakers, talk to your professors, engage with the community, push yourselves to do things that make you uncomfortable, study abroad. Your college experience will pass you by if you let it. Don't be a ghost student, be active and make the most of your time here. Remember: you get out of Doane what you put into it.
What is something you like about yourself that others may not know?
Some folks may not know that I play guitar and mandolin and sing. I played violin in school orchestras from 6th grade until I graduated from college, and earned extra money in college playing guitar and singing. It's been a while since I've done that in public, but it'd sure be fun to try it again.