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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Achievement has no age limit

October 30, 2019 | Gunner Young | campus editor
Photo by Joseph Serrata/The Collegian. South Campus history instructor Jacqueline Tinkler, 75, is teaching her first college classes this fall after getting her Ph.D. in history.
Photo by Joseph Serrata/The Collegian. South Campus history instructor Jacqueline Tinkler, 75, is teaching her first college classes this fall after getting her Ph.D. in history.

Not many people can say they have lived abroad, worked as a professional artist and taught children at a psychiatric hospital, but South Campus history professor Jacqueline Tinkler can, and she recently added a Ph.D. to that list at the age of 74.

“Jacqueline decided, at a time when many people are focused on retirement, to start a new chapter of her life and she’s succeeding,” said history professor Lee Snaples.

“I love learning, I just love it,” Tinkler said. “If there were some other degrees, I would be doing that right now.”

She got her first associate degree in interior design and worked in a design firm.

“It was perfect when I was raising my children because I had control of my time,” Tinkler said.

After 20 years working in interior design, she moved to Vietnam with her then-husband and lived there for eight months in the midst of the Vietnam War.

“It was the best learning experience I ever had,” she said.

Tinkler attended the University of Texas at Arlington, where she completed her master’s and doctorate degrees in history.

“I would realize that I really missed not being there [school] and I’d come back,” she said.

Last spring, she completed her doctorate specializing in transatlantic immigration history at UTA, and the road to achieving it was not easy, Tinkler said.

“I was afraid because of my age they weren’t going to let me into the Ph.D. program,” Tinkler said.

Out of the 23 applicants in her class, she was one of the four chosen for the program.

“If you want to learn about the world you live in, it’s never too late to learn about it,” Tinkler said.

She now teaches history classes on South Campus, and her passion for learning and history makes teaching easy.

“I asked how many of them [her students] are here just because [they] have to be,” Tinkler said. “ A lot of them raised their hands, and I said ‘We’re going to change that.’”

Her teaching philosophy is simple but effective: make the learning fun, she said.

“It should be exciting,” Tinkler said. “The world is opening up to you in new ways and for a teacher to teach in a way that’s boring … that’s not a teacher, at least not the kind of teacher I want to be.”

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