“That moment when your favorite artist calls you into the pre-concert prayer is by far the best moment of the night,” said Scott Turner, online instructional designer in the College of Online Education, who not only moonlights as a professional bodyguard but also owns his own protection services company. With a crowd of more than 50,000 people screaming the name of the person standing right beside him, Turner stands backstage, fully prepared for any complication that might arise.
For over 25 years, Turner 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, Turner trades the life of personal protection to work at JWU.
From ABCs to Ivy League
Turner’s journey to get to where he is today was definitely long and winding. By his early- to mid-twenties, he 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, Turner 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. He 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, Turner 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, Turner 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 College of Online Education, he doesn’t hesitate to say that he has “the best team that anyone could imagine.”
Off Duty, On Point
When Turner 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).
Profile courtesy of the College of Online Education blog.