JJ is probably the most chaotic good professor I have ever had the pleasure of taking a class with. I don't agree with his previous reviews. I didn't find him narcissistic or over confident at all. Quite the contrary, he seemed very down to earth and easy to talk to. His light hearted sense of humor and easy going nature make it easy to have interesting class discussions, particularly about current events. Took his class during the COVID pandemic, and he was very understanding with giving extensions to people who needed them. He was definitely one of the few professors who seemed to understand the chaos of being a student in a pandemic-riddled world. There were no exams this semester, so I cannot comment on their difficulty, but I can say that his lectures were engaging and interesting. I liked that he encouraged students to ask questions and comment during class. You can tell that he genuinely enjoys interacting with his students, which is also great. Taking micro this semester made me wish that we had more biology lectures that had greater discussion/Q&A components. I definitely learned more this semester, having discussed and asked questions about topics, than I would have during the typical semester, when the educational scheme is take notes, cram, memorize, brain dump on the exam, forget everything the next day, and repeat. In conclusion, I would 10/10 take another class with Prof. Miranda over any other professor if I got the chance to.
JJ has little respect for other professors in the department or the time of his students. His manner in class is arrogant and unprofessional, wasting time on jokes/comments/stories he wants you to laugh at (they're not funny). Perhaps this would be fine if he had a good sense of the material he's teaching, but this is not the case. He would read from the slides and rarely was able to answer questions in class. There was no way to boost a grade in the class outside of exams, which were multiple choice.
Poindexter is a brilliant scientist and a wonderful teacher. She knows and loves bacteria, and will convey her enthusiasm to you. The lecture is superb, although she goes VERY fast .... bring a tape recorder or be prepared to get writer's cramp. Exams are tough, but she curves the average to a B. She can be intimidating at first, but don't be scared off.... she is happy to help you out if you're having trouble and her animated lecture style makes class enjoyable. I highly recommend taking the lab as well ... it can be a lot of work during class time, but the class is generally relaxed and interesting, and with the exception of the final project, the reports are short and straightforward. The project is great .... you are free to choose pretty much any feasible investigation, and it's exciting to be able to carry out your own independent research. People put in a lot of work for the lab, but Poindexter recognizes this, giving most everyone a B+ or above. Dr. Poindexter has high expectations for her students, and while her class is no easy A, if you put in the effort you will learn an incredible amount of fascinating material and your hard work will be acknowledged. Don't think that microbiology is a dull field..... by the end of the semester you will be agreeing with Dr. Poindexter's closing statement... "Microbes are awesome!"