Chris Helland: Dalhousie sociology professor and tattooed surfer bro

They’re more than just teachers. Read the Hidden Talents series, featured in our 2017 University Rankings book

Dalhouse University Professor Chris Helland

Christopher Helland is a professor at Dalhousie University and an avid surfer. (Photograph by Darren Calabrese)

By day, they toil in the ivory tower’s rarefied air. After hours, they break out surfboards, silks and a bed of nails. These are the stories of Canada’s most adventurous university faculty and staff. Click here for the rest of our Hidden Talents series.

Chris Helland: Professor Chris Helland begins his intro to sociology course at Dalhousie by stripping down. He explains that though his suit and tie are fitting for a prof of his stature—Helland has worked in northern India with the Dalai Lama and received millions in grants—underneath he’s a tattooed surfer bro who loves video games. Then he poses this question to the class: “Am I still the same person I was before the start of class?” The answer is always a shocked “No,” with a good lesson about preconceived societal judgment to boot.

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