Bomhof committed to helping students succeed

Arie Bomhof (BSc '93) insists on a first-name basis in his classroom.

Arie Bomhof’s commitment to student success extends beyond the boundaries of the classroom.

To his students, he’s “Arie” – not Mr. Bomhof, or professor, or sir. He likes to keep things informal and friendly when he teaches, and the approach seems to go over very well. Look him up on any of the many “rate my teacher” websites these days, and you’ll see student comments like, “Arie is absolutely fantastic,” “A genuinely helpful person who always has a smile on his face” and “Best tutorial teacher I’ve ever had, hands down.”

Bomhof worked as a high school math teacher for more than 10 years before heading back to university (the University of Lethbridge, actually) in 1991 to earn a degree in computer science. He accepted a contract position on campus after graduation, assisting with a computer systems project, but returned to teaching in 1999 when an instructor’s position became available in the U of L Department of Math and Computer Science. He’s been there for 15 years now, and says he still looks forward to coming to work every day.

“I’ve been teaching some of the same courses here since day one, and I can honestly say that I never get tired of it,” says Bomhof. “I love teaching and the dynamics of the classroom. Nothing makes me happier than helping students succeed.”

Bomhof’s commitment to student success extends beyond the boundaries of the classroom. He’s been contributing to the Supporting Our Students (SOS) fund for years, and his donations are just one more way he can help students succeed.

“I know from experience that if a student misses one class, it’s likely that student will start to miss more,” Bomhof explains. “It’s a slippery slope. They start to miss classes, their motivation declines, their grades suffer, they might even drop the course. If I can prevent a student from missing classes because of money-related challenges, having to take part-time work or working late, then my contribution has made a big difference.”

Bomhof has three children of his own, and each of them earned a university degree with the help of various scholarships along the way – another factor that Bomhof cites when considering his reasons for participating in SOS.

“I really appreciated the assistance my kids got when they went to school,” he says. “It made a difference to them and to me as well. Giving to SOS is a way to pay it forward.”

In Bomhof’s mind, education is both a right and privilege – something he says we as a society have a responsibility to foster and promote, and he believes that educational professionals have to lead the way.

“Our professional obligation as instructors is to help students learn,” he says. “That obligation takes a lot of different shapes, and SOS is one of them.”

You can join Arie in supporting students by visiting the U of L's giving website.