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Home > About NOVA > Faces of NOVA > Past Profiles > John Ehle

Picture of John Ehle

Faculty Profile - John Ehle

The one thing that I emphasize to my students is for them to not be afraid of failure. It’s a part of life and sometimes in order to succeed, you must be willing to fail. As long as you stay committed and determined to your goals, everything else will fall into place.

I came to NOVA as a sociology instructor in 1969. Forty-three years later, I’m the assistant Dean of Economics, Sociology, Art History and Anthropology. I currently teach sociology. Many times I come across young students who aren’t quite sure of the career path they would like to take. I try to help them understand that this feeling is absolutely normal.

I show a documentary-series in my class called ‘Seven Up!’ It’s a longitudinal study that documents the life span of people who were born in 1956 up until their adulthood. Every seven years they check in to see how their attitudes and lifestyles have changed from the previous years. My students saw that the people’s views on life had totally changed from when they were 21 to the time they turned 49. At 49 years old, they were content with their lives and felt as though they had accomplished all they set out to achieve. 

Everyone should know the benefits of attending NOVA and the community college system. I’ve been at NOVA long enough to see the benefits this place has provided to the people around me. My wife graduated in 1974 from NOVA’s nursing program. My kids have all gotten their degrees at NOVA and they’ve gone on to higher education. My grandson is currently attending classes, and he too will follow the same trend. What makes this place so special is the fact that it provides an opportunity for everyone to achieve their potential.