Prof profiles: Carlos Nash

He lives in downtown Houston, has kippers and bangers for breakfast, and is the youngest member of the English department’s faculty. Carlos Nash teaches linguistics, and is the closest thing to Henry Higgins that SHSU has to offer.

Nash was born in Austin and raised in Houston. He attended the High School for Health Professions, intending to get a head start on a career in medicine. After high school Nash attended Rice University in Houston with a double major in chemistry and mathematics, but said the field of linguistics caught his eye.

“I ended up doing linguistics because I found out dealing with people and analyzing the way people speak is much more fulfilling,” Nash said.

At Rice, Nash was the first undergraduate teaching assistant in linguistics, and was told by his professor that he would ultimately become a teacher himself.

“I was basically TA-ing, and doing tutorial classes,” Nash said.

Nash received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in linguistics in 1999 and 2001, respectively. In May of 2001 he applied for the open professor position at SHSU and was hired.

Nash currently teaches the freshman composition course English 164, as well as English 372 and English 467, dealing with the modern English language and its history.

Nash said teaching at SHSU has enhanced his sense of creativity.

“When you’re at university, you have to learn creativity,” he said.

Nash said his students are all very different, and that the teaching field requires flexibility. However different his students may be, Nash said his passion is teaching students about languages.

“I want my students to know what makes language unique, and all the complexities involved,” he said.

Nash said he is laid back in his teaching style, and often insists that his students call him by his first name. At only 25-years-old, Nash remembers what it is like to be a student and is casual in the classroom. At times, he is so casual his class meets across the street at the local tavern instead of in the Evans Building.

In addition to his teaching load at SHSU, Nash is the web master for the Registrar’s Office at Rice University. He is also web master for the Houston Friends of Music organization at the Shepherd School of Music affiliated with Rice.

Nash said spring 2003 will mark his last semester of teaching at SHSU. He will be attending graduate school for his doctorate in linguistics, but hopes to return to the field of teaching after receiving his new degree.

Outside of the world of academia, Nash is a world traveler. With a Philippino mother and African-American father, Nash has a perfectly blended English and American accent that he picked up during summer vacations to England.

He said every year since middle school he has packed his bags and flown overseas, sometimes for months at a time.

“I like my trips to England because of the people I’ve met,” Nash said. “It’s great to go back to see them.”

At home, Nash watches television shows including “Eastenders” and “Yes Prime Minister” as part of the culture he brought back from Great Britain.

Nash has also been to Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium. He said he hopes to one day visit Vienna, Italy and Spain.

Besides traveling, Nash has a taste for opera, food and Beefeater martinis.

“I like to go see a lot of the arts in Houston,” he said.

Nash also frequents fine restaurants, musicals and Rice Alumni functions. He said he has also taken up the art of photography as a hobby.

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