“That moment when your favorite artist calls you into the preconcert prayer is by far the best moment of the night,” said Johnson & Wales University online instructional designer Scott Turner, who not only moonlights as a professional bodyguard but also owns his own company, Personal Protection Services. With a crowd of more than 50,000 people screaming the name of the person standing right beside him, Scott stands backstage, fully prepared for any complication that might arise.
For over 25 years, Scott has worked more than 20,000 shows ranging from Roger Waters to Ed Sheeran. “The ability to experience concerts while standing on stage with an icon that you look up to is crazy,” he said. He has also protected Miss America pageant contestants, met five presidents, and worked five Super Bowls.
That’s his weekend, every weekend. But nine-to-five, Scott trades the life of personal protection to work here, at the Johnson & Wales University College of Online Education as an online instructional designer.
From ABCs to Ivy League
However, Scott’s journey to get to where he is today was definitely long and winding. By his early- to mid-twenties, Scott had no form of higher education, worked in a steel mill, and struggled with reading. At 28, he graduated from the Community College of Rhode Island with an associate degree.
From there, Scott attended Rhode Island College and tried out many majors, from fashion to business, economics to anthropology. He eventually settled on secondary education and graduated in 2000. It was like a light switch was flipped. Scott then jumped into teaching and taught for 18 years, many of which were spent at a local Providence middle school and Roger Williams University. In 2004, Scott was awarded the Providence Teacher of the Year Award for all of his hard work inside the classroom. Still, he was not done learning. In 2010, he graduated with a master’s degree in ESL education from Brown University. Despite the odds and challenges, his determination and dedication to education made his dreams a reality.
Behind-the-Scenes in the Online Classroom
Now as an instructional designer at JWU Online, Scott assists online faculty with building and maintaining excellent online courses. This encompasses designing, revising, and troubleshooting courses for the online classroom. Although he is not yet teaching as an online professor, he hopes to by spring 2019. Even after just four months of working for the JWU College of Online Education, Scott doesn’t hesitate to say that he has “the best team that anyone could imagine.”
Off Duty, On Point
When Scott isn’t at work or protecting your favorite music artist, you might find him riding around Rhode Island on his motorcycle, hanging around with his family, or spending time with his close personal friend Christopher Lloyd (you probably know him as Doc Brown from the Back to the Future movies).
With a life filled with friends, family, work, and the occasional football star, Scott definitely has some great pieces of advice for online students. “If you have a dream, don’t let anything or anyone stop you—period,” Scott said. “Work hard. Be the best at what you are going to do.”