Kent Wosepka, a former finance professor at Boston College who died on Oct. 31 after a bicycle accident in Texas, was a greatly-respected teacher and colleague, according to Ronnie Sadka.
“He was a truly fantastic teacher,” Sadka, a professor in the finance department, said. “He made a difference and will be dearly missed.”
Wosepka taught at BC for three years, from 2017 to 2020. As a part time professor, he taught the graduate level course Management of Financial Institutions.
“He was referred to us from a friend and trustee at BC and we had worked with him in the past,” Sadka said. “He decided that he wanted to retire from the banking industry and do something different, and one of the ways he talked about giving back [was] maybe teaching part time.”
Sadka said that Wosepka instantly became a professor beloved by his students.
“I can just tell you from his teaching evaluations and student comments, he did really well right off the bat in the first semester,” he said. “He did really well in terms of his evaluations, top scores, and he continued consistently for the three years that he was with us.”
Sadka also spoke about how, even as a part-time professor that only taught two to three sections a year, Wosepka had a great impact on his students.
“So for us, it was very helpful to start with a small chunk of his time,” he said. “For us, he really made a difference.”
Students consistently described Wosepka as humble and intelligent, Sadka said. They felt that he was able to bring his experience in the banking industry into the classroom, and that he was able to explain difficult concepts in a simple way.
Emily Spain, BC ’17 and CGSOM ’18, said that she admired how Wosepka used his career experience in a way that was meaningful to his students.
“He brought real world experience to his classroom from his previous career at Goldman [Sachs],” she said. “His enthusiasm showed through his teaching.”
Sadka said Wosepka’s talent was reflected in his evaluations and the popularity of his class.
“That’s just the reality,” he said. “It was really popular.”
George Hakimeh, BC ’13 and CGSOM ’18, said Wosepka was such an engaging, energetic, and passionate teacher that no one wanted to leave his classroom when his classes ended. He was an exemplary educator, Hakimeh said, and always went above and beyond to give 120 percent to his students.
Josh Zheng, one of Wosepka’s former students and CGSOM ’18, said he was devastated upon hearing the news of his passing.
“Professor Wosepka was not your usual one-dimensional, solely mathematical finance professor,” he said. “Everyone looked forward to going to his class. He always brought in fun examples to the classroom and had the patience to answer all your questions.”
Above all, Wosepka was a caring professor who prioritized his students, according to Zheng.
“You can ask any of my classmates and they would tell you that their best memories with him were during office hours,” he said. “Graduate professors can be intimidating, but he always kept it fun.”
He was the kind of person who would always take the time out of his busy schedule to work with students, according to Zheng.
“He was one of the only professors who, if you had a question, you could approach him
outside and he’d sit down on a bench with you for as long as it took to run through everything,” he said. “He was never in a hurry.”
Zheng said that he always admired how well Wosepka taught his difficult graduate level course.
“Teaching a master’s course can be intense, but [Wosepka] had the ability to make it fun and connect with everyone regardless of their background,” Zheng said.
Both Spain and Zheng remembered how Wopeska also pursued other hobbies while teaching, including painting.
“He was unique in that he reminded us that one could have a successful finance career, but also have interests outside of work,” Spain said.
Zheng said he would show pictures of his work to students and even had his own website to sell his art, which taught him and other students that they did not not have to limit themselves to just one discipline or dream.
“Professor Wosepka would tell us, ‘You think I’m a finance person, but I paint for a living,’” Zheng said.
Shruthi Sriram, Ethan Raye, Grace Beneke, Spencer Daniszewski, and Sofia Laboy contributed to reporting.
Featured Graphic by Olivia Charbonneau / Heights Editor