Carson Holloway, Knoxville High School Class of 1987, was among nine educators at the the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) to earn a 2013 UNO Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award.
Some may remember Holloway for his exceptional play with the KHS band. Others may remember him as the son of Donald and Linda Holloway.
He left Knoxville with an interest in political science, though he believed he would ultimately go to law school. His interest in political science can be traced to his experience on the KHS debate team. Over 25 years later, Holloway remembers the debates he had with teacher Greg Stults.
“It was a great experience, growing up (in Knoxville), I think,” Holloway said. “I’m really grateful for the education I was able to get in Knoxville.”
Good political science professors put him on the path to become such a professor himself. His education included time at the Northern Illinois University, where he decided to continue his musical pursuits. In the NIU Jazz Band, he met the woman who would become his wife, Shari. The couple have been married for 16 years and have six daughters, ranging in age from 2-15 years old.
Shari was studying to become a music educator. Today, she teaches their children at home.
Holloway holds a BA from the University of Northern Iowa, an MA and a Ph.D., from NIU, all in Political Science. He joined the faculty at UNO in 2002, and primarily teaches political philosophy and American Constitutional law. He regularly teaches Classical Political Theory, Early Modern Political Theory and Late Modern Political Theory. Subjects of his discussions include the philosophy of Aristotle and other early political theorists.
His classes regarding Constitutional law include the Federal System and Civil Liberties. Though he’ll often use the same material as topics of discussion and debate in his classes, they also evolve. Each new class also presents the potential for new perspectives and insight into landmark Constitutional cases and issues.
“I like to learn,” Holloway said. “I learn new things all the time.”
Issues of today also come up occasionally for discussion. His syllabus has evolved to include the legality and impact of the “Affordable” Health Care Act.
What will spark the greatest debates in his classes is never known. Freedom of Speech cases often spark the most heated discussions.
To be eligible for the Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award, he had to be nominated by his department. The award was presented to him on April 11.
As he’s been able to build a syllabus, the job has taken less of his time. This flexibility allows him to ensure he has time with his family.
“The job of professor is pretty good at getting balance,” Holloway said.
With his mother recently moving to Omaha, he does not come back to Knoxville as much as he used to. To Holloway, Knoxville, which is still home to several of his friends, Knoxville is a good example of the small, friendly Iowa town.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family. He writes for his job, and he is also working on his first book, based upon the political thoughts of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. Both served under President George Washington, and often disagreed.
When asked if he thought the divide between Democrats and Republicans of today will ever be resolved or tempered, he does not think it will happen for a while.
“I think about that a lot,” he said. “It’s really an ongoing question.”