Remember being in university or college? Some of you are currently in university and college now. What if you walked in and saw your favourite lead singer or your favourite drummer as your classmate, or even as your professor? It happens more than you think. Currently these musicians have a secret super power, they are nerds. So if you ever felt that you never fit in because you were a nerd, your inner nerd can smile. Here’s a list of those awesome musicians you wish were your classmates or your professor.
Former drummer of the famed girl group The Donnas, Terry Contello quit the band back in 2010 due to her injury and decided to go back to school. She was initially at Santa Monica College before transferring into Stanford University, where she majored in Political Science. Currently she’s at Harvard Law School, the class of 2016 focusing on humanitarian law. In 2014, she was one of the famed Chayes International Public Service Fellows: where students take on public service internships.
Terry went to Adalah, Israel and focused on international law. “The war in Gaza meant that I was involved in several international humanitarian law projects concerning the targeting of civilians and civilian objects as well as warning systems for civilians. I was able to witness firsthand the kind of creative thinking necessary for overcoming the challenges of practicing international law and IHL. Additionally, I was able to experience the unique challenges of living and working during an ongoing military conflict.”
The lead singer of the influential band Bad Religion, Greg Graffin received his PhD in Zoology from Cornell University and teaches courses in Geolgy at UCLA. He’s not only a professor but an author. He has co-authored books on science and religion such as “Bad or Irrelevant: A Professor and a Punk Rocker Discuss Science, Religion, Naturalism and Christianity” (2006) and “Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science and Bad Religion in a World Without God” (2010).
The legendary guitarist and composer Brian May is from the famous English band, Queen. He earned a PhD in Astrophysics from Imperial College London. Initially he had started a PhD but it took him over 30 years before completing it in 2007. What sidetracked him? A little band called Queen. He still gives guest lectures and also is a published author on the subject, having written many books.
Singer and co-founder of British folk band Stornoway, Briggs has a PhD in Zoology from the University of Oxford with his dissertation on duck behaviour. Briggs crafted songs while driving back and forth between Oxford and various ponds where he did his research. He still gives interviews on the topic and will gladly discuss on how to ring “seabirds” or gulls.
He is one half of the Canadian duo called Chromeo. David Machlovitch grew up in Montreal and did both is Bachelor’s and Master’s in French Literature at McGill University. His PhD in French Literature was completed at Columbia University and currently he’s a professor at Barnard University, it states he’s a “Lecturer in French”. Bonjour?
Guitarist and co-founder of Velvet Underground, Sterling Morrison completed a PhD in Medieval Studies out of the University of Texas at Austin, in the 1970’s. This was after the band had split up and he also earned a captain’s license during this time, he worked through graduate school piloting tugboats.
Lead singer of the punk band The Descdendants, Milo Aukerman earned his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Even one of the Descendent’s albums if named “Milo Goes To College”, and goes to show that he is definitely one of the nerds.
Keyboardist, singer and songwriter of the elctropop/New Wave band Ladytron, this Bulgarisn beauty has a PhD in molecular genetics from Oxford University. Not only is she smart, she can also speak several languages.
Known as Caribou, Snaith is a Canadian born electronic/psychedelic pop musician and composer with a PhD in mathematics from Imperial College London. It’s not music that runs through his family but mathematics, his father is a mathematics professor at the University of Sheffield and his sister is currently studying mathematics at the University of Bristol.
He is one of the founding members of the classic rock group Boston, he played almost every instrument and wrote a majority of their hits. He attended the Massachusetss Institute of Technology where he earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Science for Mechanical Engineering. He built his own in-home recording studio in which he made Boston’s first album, bringing their claim to fame.
And finally, you were wondering when I was going to get to this man. Lead singer of the famously known band The Offspring. Known as Brian Keith Holland, he was his high school valedictorian and head of the maths team at Pacifica High School. But that did not stop there; he went on to go to University of Southern California where he did his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Molecular Biology. He got into a PhD stream and put his doctorial studies on hold when The Offspring became successful. Dexter also has his pilot’s licences and owns his own private jet named “Anarchy Airline”, in addition to being a Certified Flight Instructor. Recently (2013) he’s gone back to his PhD and is currently at the Keck School of Medicine at the Laboratory of Viral Oncology and Proteomics Research. In 2013 Holland and co-authors published a paper (which you can read online) discussing microRNA in HIV genomes.
Don’t you wish you had these musicians as your professor or at least went to school with them? Let your inner nerd shine because no longer are you just a nerd. So who would you want as a professor? Or if you could choose anyone in rock and roll history to be your professor who would it be?