Charles Ruffner

August 18, 2010

Ten questions with ... Charles M. Ruffner

Job on campus/department you work in: Associate professor, Department of Forestry

How long at SIUC: Since summer 1999

Hometown: York, Pa.

When you were a youngster, what did you want to be when you grew up? Growing up during the Apollo years, I wanted to be an astronaut like Neil Armstrong.

People don’t know that you… wish my Ford Escort was a Porsche 911

If you could choose another profession, what would it be and why? Astronaut, because exploring the solar system would be an incredible experience.

What is something you still want to accomplish in life? Visit my family’s ancestral hometown in Maienfeld, Switzerland.

What is one random fact about you? I used to be able to switch-hit and pitch in baseball.

Cats or dogs? Cats, only because they are rarely as loud as all the dogs in my neighborhood!

What is your favorite food and why? Guinness -- need I say more?

Who has inspired you, and how? Lots of people like teachers, drill sergeants, colleagues, but most of all my dad because he was a “backyard biologist” who taught me to question much about the natural world.

Favorite cartoon character? Yosemite Sam or the Tasmanian Devil; both are equally angry at the world.

What would you like your gravestone to say about you? He lived large, loved his family and friends, and helped others who needed it.