My motto in life is a poem by Emily Dickinson:


If I can stop one heart from breaking,

I shall not live in vain.

If I can ease one life the aching,

Or cool one pain,

Or help one fainting robin

Unto his nest again,

I shall not live in vain.




I try to make a positive difference for everyone that I meet, whether it be in the classroom, on the shop floor, or within my volunteer commitments to ISU student organizations, 4H, the women’s shelter, the community swim team, or the public school district.

Leslie A. Potter


Statement of Teaching Philosophy


I believe strongly that students are people first, engineers second, and professionals-in-training third. I believe that learning how to be a professional engineer includes learning how to solve problems, how to communicate effectively, and how to conduct one’s actions in a manner that reflects positively on him/herself.  I expect students to work hard toward the accomplishment of objectives and to understand that only through hard work will they be able to achieve the confidence they need to make decisions and stand by them.  I treat students as responsible adults who can accept and provide constructive criticism as their engineering, communication, and professional skills mature.  As budding engineers, I expect students to define and solve their own problems with limited guidance and direction—my role as teacher is first and foremost a support role, giving students the encouragement they need to feel confident in their decision-making skills.  I also believe that students should have the freedom to enjoy what they do.  I believe that students learn more when they are actively engaged in the classroom through various means, including conversation, role playing, and hands-on activities.  I believe that fun should be allowed in the engineering classroom whenever possible as a refreshing reminder that engineers enjoy solving problems, helping people, and making a difference.  When students leave my classroom at the end of the semester, I want them to be confident in their engineering, communication, and professional abilities and to grant themselves permission to enjoy their careers.

Primary Business Address
3012 Black Engineering

Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011

To contact me:

Phone: 319-269-5835
Fax: 515-294-3524

Iowa State University         
Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering