New full-time instructor Al Jivan encourages students to pursue excellence. "Education is like an ocean," he explained.

To meet student demands, COM Process Technology has hired another full-time instructor, Al Jivan, who has been an adjunct instructor for two and a half years and previously worked as an engineer at Dow Chemical Company.

“We have had such an increase in enrollment, “said Bill Raley, COM dean of industrial technology. “Adding Al Jivan will allow us to increase our course offerings and help students graduate faster.”
Jivan conducted some training at Dow as an engineer, but did not set out to be a teacher. After retiring, “I got pulled like a magnet to teach,” he said. “Teaching became a passion for me. Education opens doors.”
For his education, Jivan, born and raised in Tanzania, came to the U.S. to earn his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Houston. He then worked as an engineer for more than 32 years.
“Not only do I teach from textbooks, but I teach from practical experience. It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “I meet a lot of students with different backgrounds. I have even had students with bachelor’s degrees in different fields.”
He is always willing to give extra help to students who need it. “I don’t mind spending time if somebody wants to learn,” he said. “Education is like an ocean. You can come with a gallon bucket or with an eight-ounce cup. The student with the gallon bucket will get more. It depends on the students--however much they want, they get.”

Jivan remembers his high school math teacher in Tanzania who was from Texas. The teacher told him, “Al, nobody’s perfect and you should always pursue excellence.” Jivan said, “He made a big impact on me and we became really good friends.
“There are some teachers who make a difference. I’ve been blessed that I got a good education in a country with good opportunities. I am committed to making a positive impact on students at COM.”