Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Meet Our Faculty: Wijitha Bandara

Wijitha Bandara

Assitant Professor
Humanities and Social Sciences  
Humanities, Languages and Culture

What he teaches:
Introduction to World Religions, Introduction to Buddhism, Introduction to Asian Religions, Cultures and Philosophies 

Number of years teaching at SLCC:
4 years

University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

University of Virginia

University of Virginia

Why working at SLCC matters:
Unlike other institutions where I’ve taught, SLCC’s student body is characterized by its diversity of background and remarkably maturity—characteristics that demand teaching that is interactive and focused on student needs.  Many of my students have experienced struggles firsthand, yet they strive to move forward personally and professionally by achieving success in their studies.  In class discussions at SLCC are particularly rich because of the contributions and insights expressed by students from all over Utah, and all over the world.

Greatest professional challenge:
Since students’ skills at SLCC are also extremely diverse, it can be a challenge to ensure that each student is working at a high level of proficiency, yet it is possible.  Working individually with motivated students throughout the semester not only improves my teaching but also improves student learning and performance.  

Greatest professional accomplishment:
I’ve always wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember.  Teaching in an institution of higher education where my discipline and teaching skills are needed and valued is my greatest professional accomplishment.

Advice for students or others:
Whatever your goals, they are not beyond your grasp.  The more you focus on reaching those goals, the closer you will get to achieving them-- do not give up!

Future plans:
To become a better teacher and mentor to my students and colleagues, and to continue collaborating with colleagues throughout Utah to expand learning opportunities for SLCC students. 

I am blessed by my loving family--my wife Laura and our son Kavi, a middle schooler. I enjoy being with them every day, and really enjoy travelling together. A recent trip to Sri Lanka to see family and friends was a real gift, and we are hoping to go to Europe next.

I love playing pickleball with my neighborhood league, cross-country skiing, and growing vegetables in my garden.