Getting to know Saint Leo Professor Randall Woodard with this week's "10 questions"

TAMPA, Fla - Are you ever curious about the real lives of politicians, celebrities, local newsmakers and athletes?

Each week, ABC Action News asks 10 questions of a Bay area leader, politician or even national celebrity.

We go beyond the questions that are news of the day. After all sometimes, we want know more about them. What's their favorite music? Greatest success? And who do they look up to?

This week as millions celebrated the Easter holiday, we wanted to profile one of our religious experts. A professor who spent a lot of time in our studios leading up to the annoucement of Pope Francis last year

Saint Leo, associate theology professor Randall Woodard is answering our 10 questions.

Woodard is happy to call the Bay area home. But, he's traveled quite a bit and from far away to get here!

He was born in Winnipeg, Canda and went to high school there.

Woodard then attended Notre Dame College,in  Wilcox Saskatchewan, as well as Franciscan University, Providence College, University of Manitoba and Duquesne University.

He has three young kids.  I moved down to Florida in 2008. I've been teaching at SLU for 6 years.
Initially I came to the US for college and then really never left. I miss home, but get over it when it's warm all the time here.

I have interviewed Woodard several times, and I feel he is truly the type of proffesor you want  teaching your kids.

Not only is he completely versed in his subjects, but he is nows h Three kids- Danny 14, Mikey 11 and Cora 5

I asked him to give us a few thoughts on Easter, he gave me this example and cited one of the three people he would like to have dinner with!

"Easter it ends up being pivotal for the Christian faith. It's evidence of the power of love over sin and death. Additionally, the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and the resurrection witness that our lives today can be be radically transformed from selfishness, greed and anger into a new place of life, peace and love.  Last year on Easter Pope Francis explained:

Dear brothers and sisters, Christ died and rose once for all, and for everyone, but the power of the Resurrection, this passover from slavery to evil to the freedom of goodness, must be accomplished in every age, in our concrete existence, in our everyday lives. How many deserts, even today, do human beings need to cross!  Above all, the desert within, when we have no love for God or neighbour, when we fail to realize that we are guardians of all that the Creator has given us and continues to give us.  God's mercy can make even the driest land become a garden, can restore life to dry bones (cf. Ez 37:1-14).

So this is the invitation which I address to everyone: Let us accept the grace of Christ's Resurrection!  Let us be renewed by God's mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable the power of his love to transform our lives too; and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish

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1. What is your all-time favorite movie or song?

My favorite song is John Mellencamp's "Minutes to Memories." It's not his most popular, but it tells a great story of about the passing of generations, the significance of family, hard work, love and how time is fleeting. An old man shares wisdom with a younger man on a bus and then the wisdom is later shared with the younger man's son.  The best two lines:

Now I'm seventy-seven and with God as my witness,
I earned every dollar that passed through my hands,
My family and friends are the best thing I've known,
Through the eye of the needle I'll carry them home

The old man kept talking 'bout his life and his times
He fell asleep with his head against the window
He said an honest man's pillow is his peace of mind
This world offers riches and riches will grow wings
I don't take stock in those uncertain things  

Then, almost anything by Jason Aldean, Eric Church or Luke Bryan

2. Do you have a Smartphone? If so, what's your favorite app?

I have two apps that I use a lot. I have one called "all the cooks" that links recipes to my shopping list. I'm a single dad shopping and cooking for 3 kids. It helps with fun (and healthy) meals. If I didn't have these I'd be at the store 5 days / week!

The next one is Ruzzle- a word game that one of my students got me hooked on. It's a fun time killer!

3. Who do you count as your mentor(s)?

I'm very blessed to say that my father is one of the greatest men I've ever met. He died nearly 15 years ago, but is still a mentor to me. His dedication to his family and his love of life were incredible. His example challenges me every day. I'm also inspired by (but have not met) Dick Hoyt, perhaps the most dedicated father imaginable. I am surrounded by some of the hardest working and wonderful colleagues at Saint Leo University that constantly amaze and inspire me as well.

4. What was your very first job?

I had a paper route with my brothers growing up. Summers in junior

high and high school I worked in a factory and taught at a month long residential ice hockey school.   

5. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

My natural instinct is to place my complete trust in people right away, assuming that they are good and honest. I'm likely not going to change this, but it's been the cause of problems for me in the past.

6. What do you consider your greatest success?

So far… raising 3 intelligent, compassionate, hardworking and beautifully imperfect kids- Danny (14), Mikey (11) and Cora (5). They sweep me off my feet every day and teach me how to sacrifice and love. Being a father is the greatest joy in my life.

7. Tell us something about you most people don't know?

I teach theology but, outside of the class, I love violent sports. My two favorite places to be are on a football field and a rugby pitch. A year ago I destroyed my left meniscus in a tackle football game vs. my college students (I still take it out on them when I grade their papers).

8. If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be?

Pope Francis, my dad, and comedian Daniel Tosh (but not at the same dinner!)

9. What is in your fridge right now?

About 80% fruits and vegetables, several different hot sauces, Danimal drinks for Cora and ice cream for the boys

10. If you could have a different career, other than what you're doing now, what would it be?

The career survey I took in high school recommended minister and stuntman. I wasn't sure how to combine those two things, so I went with my real love- teaching. If I hadn't chosen a teaching career, I might have gone into law enforcement. If I could do anything, I'd play professional football. Unfortunately, lack of skill got in the way of that dream.


10 questions is an on line feature I started doing more than three years ago. Many of the people I profile are based on your suggestions.

If there is someone you would like to see featured, please e-mail me sfazan@wfts.com or "like" me on Facebook. To do that just head to http://abcactionnews.com/facebook and find me under the favorites tab and click the "like" button.

If you also have a suggestion for a question please let me know. I always look forward to hearing from you!

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