It can be difficult to make an impression on students, particularly when you teach an enormous class. Recently, Evan Dennis, a 19-year-old student at East Tennessee State University, shared a video compilation of his psychology professor, Dr. Chris Dula, beginning every class. While this type of video might sounds monotonous, it’s actually vastly entertaining, thanks to Dula’s rather unorthodox daily greeting: an extremely loud and prolonged “HELLOOOO!” which startles even the most beleaguered students into sitting up and paying attention.
This is how @kryssdula my psychology professor, begins every class and I love it. He has a very inspiring story! Everyone RT this to get him on @TheEllenShow !! #GetDulaOnEllen pic.twitter.com/5eP3w7Ss0k— Evan Dennis (@dennis_evan11) February 13, 2018
Evan’s delightful video struck a chord with Twitter, and it wasn’t long before people were wishing for an enthusiastic professor like Dula. (Or, at the very least, wishing for this level of enthusiasm from literally anyone.)
What a champ— Mohenjo Mario ?〰 (@1Ashurbanipal) February 14, 2018
I want everyone to greet me like this.— leydabeauty (@leydabeauty) February 15, 2018
I think this is great. Little things like can make all the difference in the classroom.— Alex Nunchuck (@AlexNunchuck) February 14, 2018
Best professor I’ve had in undergrad!! Dula rocks!— Katie Wheeler (@KateWheeler143) February 15, 2018
Apparently, Dula’s vibrant greeting isn’t merely a personality quirk — it’s a concerted effort to live more positively. Dula tells BuzzFeed that he “cleaned up his life” after spending his youth as an alcoholic, and that teaching has been his one “true calling.”
“I knew the characteristic behaviors and attitudes of those I considered to be the best teachers,” he told BuzzFeed News. “So, when I became a college instructor I made it my mission to be as helpful, as interesting, and as effective as possible.”
Dula is a self-published author, and unfortunately, was diagnosed with brain cancer shortly after the publication of his first book. After Dula was told he would need surgery, he says there was an influx of love and support from the community (a testament to how much his peers and students appreciate his positive nature).
The responses to Evan’s Twitter compilation have been no exception, Dula says, and adds that he’s extremely humbled by all of the sweet comments.
“Evan just thought to do his video tweet on his own in support of the effort, and I’ve been blown away by the reception.”