Frequent Faces: Economics professor encourages students to be themselves

Frequent Faces: Economics professor encourages students to be themselves

Jacob Parker

Dan Myers, associate professor of economics, initially came to WKU to work on his dissertation on a one-year appointment.

“Twenty-eight years later and I’m still here,” he said. “I did not intend on staying here, but it worked out.”

Since coming to WKU, Myers has participated in a variety of student organizations, including Homecoming and coordinating international programs with the business office.

“I came here because it was convenient, but I got here and it was just a comfortable place for me,” he said. I fit in well, I get along with students, faculty and staff. It became a home for me.”

Working with international programs, Myers has traveled to several countries with students, including Amsterdam every other year, China, Spain, Germany and France.

“One thing I’ve really enjoyed is the travel that I’ve done with my work with international programs,” he said. “I guess an important part of the job that’s personally rewarding is watching my students grow from (the experience).”

Of all the places he’s been, Myers said one location felt more familiar than any others.

“I have felt more at home in a town called Queretaro, Mexico,” he said. “I went there frequently because of our grant, and it was just sort of like a second home.”

Having been to many different countries, Myers said meeting people can be life changing.

“When you meet certain people, you know that they’re going to be a part of your life forever,” he said.

One such person is his best friend from high school, with whom he shared a conversation that is now represented in art on his wall at home.

“…I said to her ‘You’re the strangest person I’ve ever met,’ and she said, ‘You are too,’” he said. “From then on we knew we’d be friends forever.”

Myers said he is who he is because of the lessons his parents imparted on him.

“I guess all that I am stems back from my mother and my father,” he said. “The insight they gave me into life is probably something that sticks with me and makes me the way I am.”

He said the lessons they taught him are the same ones he tries to pass on to his students: Be yourself. Do your best. Try.

“You should also make the best of what you’ve got instead of having regrets. Go forward and grow,” he said. “Having regrets buys you nothing. You have to build on what you’ve done.”

To Myers, the most important lesson is to be yourself.

“Make yourself happy. Do things because you need to, not because other people want you to,” he said. “In everyone’s brain, they try to conform to other people’s ideals, and it’s kind of like a weight lifted off your shoulders when you say, ‘I’ve got to live for me and nobody else.’”

Reporter’s note: As journalists, we are on a never-ending search to find stories to tell. Often times in our search for a person to capture in words, we overlook the people who we encounter in our daily lives. This is the first of an ongoing series shining light on the faces we see around campus on a daily basis.