When childhood dinnertime conversation is current events and political affairs rather than tee-ball scores or swim meets, it should be no surprise when that environment leads a child toward a path engaging in those subjects.
“I grew up in an environment where politics and current affairs were discussed regularly,” Sukkary said. “My parents took me traveling so I was exposed to government and political affairs from a young age.”
That exposure to all things politics was enhanced when he enrolled at American River College and landed in Prof. Richard Randall’s classroom – noted for inspiring students and broadening their world views.
Sukkary earned an associate degree at American River, a bachelor’s in Government from CSUS and a master’s from Texas State University-San Marcos. Upon returning to Sacramento, he worked as Legislative Aide for Ed Chavez (D-La Puente).
But there was an interest in teaching, perhaps influenced by his mother, Soheir Sukkary-Stolba, anthropology professor at American River College, and his late father, Dr. Shawky Sukkary, English and Humanities professor at CSUS.
“I wanted to see if teaching at the college level was for me,” he said, acknowledging that his master’s program didn’t involve much teaching or public speaking at all.
He sought out the Faculty Diversity Internship program at American River College and met with Kathleen Collihan, department chair.
Eleven years later, he is established as a generalist, teaching the required American Government course as well as International Relations, Comparative Government and Politics of the Middle East. He has been adjunct faculty at American River for 11 years and at Sacramento City since Spring 2012.
“I’ve been able to make a career of it,” Sukkary said.
His specialty is politics and international relations of the Middle East, Egyptian politics, human rights, Islam and politics and democratization.
What he loves best about teaching perhaps echoes those dinnertime conversations as a child. Perhaps it hints at dinnertime conversations with wife Rania and their daughters.
“I love working with students,” he said. “I love learning.”
Carol Terracina-Hartman is a freelance writer based in Sacramento. She covers all things environment. In 2012, she received the Outstanding Service Award from the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. See her work at Examiner.com.