MiraCosta communication instructor Anthony Ongyod isn’t afraid to try new things. From traveling the world to working odd jobs, this former “surf bum” has a penchant for fun and a passion for teaching.
“The worst job I ever had was dancing hula on a sunset dinner cruise in Hawaii,” laughs Anthony, who moved to Hawaii after graduating with a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University. “There is not a single dancing bone in my body; it was awful!”
While in Hawaii, Anthony decided to enroll at the University of Hawaii, Manoa to earn a master’s degree in communication. He was hired as a teaching assistant and discovered he loved working with students.
Soon, Anthony hung up his surfboard and headed to Chesapeake College in Maryland, where he taught communication studies for five years. Though working full-time as a professor, Anthony, an avid traveler, decided he wasn’t through with the type of adventures he experienced in Hawaii. So, in the summer, he signed on to lead adventure tours for teens in exotic spots around the world.
“I’ve led trips to Hawaii, Costa Rica, Belize, New Zealand, Fiji and Thailand,” says Anthony. “We do everything—scuba diving, hiking, sailing and camping. We do great things with the kids—not only do I get to share something fun—traveling—but I also get to teach them team-building and leadership skills. It’s a great program.”
Anthony, who has traveled to all 50 states and visited 37 countries, came to MiraCosta College in summer of 2009 to join the faculty as a communication instructor. MiraCosta isn’t just a good fit for him because of its close proximity to the ocean, the college also fits in with his commitment to student learning.
“I love that MiraCosta students are engaged in learning,” he explains. “They like to participate in class, they have goals and plans for their future, they are funny and like to have a good time. The college also offers a lot of opportunities for students to learn—we have special-interest classes, and clubs that really expand students’ knowledge and experiences.”