Faculty Stories: Javed Iqbal

Javed Iqbal

Program: Economics


Javed Iqbal developed a keen interest in economics during junior high school.

“I always had questions about the mechanism of money circulation, process of international trade between countries, reasons for differences in standard of living among different nations, and causes of poverty and income inequality in the same society,” he said. “My passion for understanding critical issues in society and the economy as a whole put me on track to pursue a graduate degree in economics.”

Iqbal earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chittagong in Bangladesh and master’s degrees from Central Michigan University and York University. He taught full time at Roberto Clemente High School in Chicago and simultaneously served as an adjunct faculty member at Richard J. Daley College, one of the seven City Colleges of Chicago.

His experience in Chicago with multicultural and diverse environments helped him to enjoy teaching as a profession, which he chose not only to just make students learn but also to teach them how to learn.

“Once the teacher can kindle a student’s desire for learning, the light of knowledge will descend from all around,” he said. “This will create an environment where students spontaneously acquire knowledge, develop a habit of reaching beyond their comfort zone and become deft at dealing with new challenges.

“I believe, regardless of obstacles that stand in the way, one can overcome them to achieve success, if adequate support and guidance is provided to channel their efforts toward desired goals.”

One of the most important takeaways he wants students to gain from his classes is the ability to look at social issues through the lenses of economics.

“I consider it vital that students initiate a desire for learning to become better aware and more responsible citizens as members of society. To this end, it is important for them to learn how to learn with a view to attain a higher and wider level of knowledge in order to pursue suitable careers and to live more fulfilling lives.”

Considering his passion for teaching, Iqbal found inspiration in his own teachers.

“They are the ones who motivated me to believe in myself,” he said. “Each time I enter a classroom, I see my teaching styles reflecting their best practices, I often notice my voice echoing their words that paved our way.

“I also get inspired by my students. They are the ones who keep me going. The continuous support, respect and rapport that I receive from my students empower me to devote my life toward effective teaching. In my face-to-face or virtual classrooms, or in office hours, when I see a reflection of learning or acknowledgement of understanding, I become inspired.”

More about the Economics program