Doctors of Love


Whether it’s the art of Irish literature or the study of microorganisms, we students pour in time and money to learn from professors who have dedicated their lives to studying a chosen craft.

A quick search will tell someone that earning a Ph. D. can take up to eight arduous years of studying and writing, which ends in the grueling task of writing a dissertation that may or may not be approved by a committee.

Knowing this, we trust these professors to teach us the knowledge of their field, but could we also learn from them in other ways?

It is daunting to enter college with the expectations of your whole future on your shoulders. Breaching the cusp of adolescence and adulthood while taking up to 18 credit hours and learning how to take care of oneself can activate any person’s fight or flight. To add to this ever-growing list is the exploration of dating.

While this is not the case for everyone, some enter college with little to no knowledge of what it means to be in a relationship. Many students are asking, “How do you cultivate a long-lasting relationship?”

To help solve this problem, a few Georgia Southern Ph. D holders shared with students their tips for having a long-lasting relationship:

Dr. William Holley, who has been teaching at Georgia Southern for roughly seven years and currently teaches French, shared his two cents on a long and healthy marriage:

“The three biggest suggestions from my wife and me are mutual respect, appreciation, and keeping lines of communication open–married for 21 years now.”

Dr. Lisa Costello works in the Department of English and has been teaching at Georgia Southern for 15 years. She broke down three simple steps for a healthy, long-lasting relationship:

“My advice for making a relationship last longer is 3 things: talk about the hard stuff when it happens, say “I love you” every day, and never take that person’s awesomeness for granted.”

Dr. Mary Villeponteaux is embarking on her 17th year of teaching at Georgia Southern in the Department of Literature, and she has offered some tried and true advice:

“Develop your friendship along with your romance. If romantic partners have a strong friendship, there’s a better chance that their relationship will last.”

The final piece of advice was offered up by Dr. Kurt Knoerl, who has been working in the history department for five and a half years. He humbly offers insight that “may not be very deep” but has stood the test of time:

“To work toward building a lasting relationship, it takes just that, work. That means doing the hard things like always being honest. If it can’t survive that, it isn’t meant to be.”

These professors have proven their intelligence within the classroom, so hopefully, their knowledge can extend past that and aid you in other areas of your life.

Be sure to check your student inbox and our website to stay up to date with the latest Armstrong news!