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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Communication professor Hank Flick brings flicker of light to MSU students

Jake Jones
Hank Flick

It seems Hank Flick, Mississippi State University communication professor, would rather teach students than do anything else in the world, as excitement and passion for his students fills every class he teaches. 

Flick came to MSU in 1971. Before he came to MSU, he worked on a master’s degree at the University of Memphis. Flick was about to start a teaching job at Christian Brothers College in Memphis, but when he came to MSU, said he fell in love with the university and chose MSU instead.

Flick has taught 10 to 15 classes, including corporate communication, media relations, small group communication and interviewing. Flick created his own interview class curriculum based on his foundation in rhetoric and an understanding of written and spoken messages. All of Flick’s work drives toward his desire for students to be successful. 

Research Flick has conducted shows 99 percent of businesses use an interview process. Of that percentile, 90 percent say the most important variable present when working to get a job is interviewing — not grades, not references, not work experience. Flick said ability to interview is the most important factor in student success.

“(An interview) is 35 to 55 minutes, yet interviews are over in four minutes,” Flick said. “I understood that, researched it and communicate it in classes.”

Flick said his greatest joy as a teacher is the opportunity to be with students and help them see that a degree from MSU can bring success. Flick said he loves to teach and believes working in education is much more than a job. 

“My mentor taught me years ago — he said, ‘When you walk down that hall and you touch that doorknob, if you’re not happy to be there, if you’re not excited about being with young people, then get out,’” Flick said. “I always look at life as a ministry. You find what you do to make a good world better. You find what you do to help people grow and develop in significant ways.”

Flick taught John Forde, associate professor and head of the Department of Communication, in 1981 while Forde attended MSU. Forde said Flick was one of the best teachers he ever had and Flick is constantly excited to teach and serve his students.

“He’s passionate about teaching,” Forde said. “He really puts a lot of effort into class — he always has. Students know that he’ll be there. He makes class a very high priority. He loves teaching. He loves going to class. He loves helping students.”

Forde said Flick is not only loyal to students, but Flick is also invaluable to MSU.

“The teaching aspect of Hank I think is very important,” Forde said. “There’s so many things he’s done with the university and for the university over the decades.”

Outside of the classroom, Flick’s door is always open to students. Flick said when he is not standing in front of a chalkboard, he likes to think critically and write books.

Andre Mourning, senior communication major, said he enjoys Flick’s interviewing class. Mourning said he learns from Flick, but Flick manages to keep class engaging and exciting. 

“I enjoy it because he’s very in your face, but in a good way,” Mourning said. “He has a sense of humor and that always makes a class that might not be so fun become fun.” 

Flick said though some could say he lacks a lot, no one can say he is not loving and faithful to MSU. For Flick, a lack of exuberance toward one’s work reveals a troubled condition of the heart. Flick said people who are not fiercely excited and committed to their work should move on to different jobs.

“People without passion need not apply,” Flick said. “People without love in their hearts and loyalty in their lives need not stay.”  

According to Flick’s mantra, Flick will not leave MSU anytime soon, as he seems to have no shortage of excitement for MSU and its students.

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Communication professor Hank Flick brings flicker of light to MSU students