I’ve always loved books, reading and languages; initially I was interested primarily in the scholarly aspects of an academic career—library and manuscript research and writing—but in graduate school I discovered that I love teaching, especially when I’ve got a group of students who share my love of books and reading.
One of my proudest moments was when I learned that a colleague had nominated me for the Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission’s Governor’s Humanitarian Award moments before I learned that I won the award.
I like to sit with my students in a circle or around a seminar table rather than stand in front of a lecture hall or a podium. I’m not a bad lecturer and will lecture when it’s appropriate, but I really love lively discussion with my students. I like to help my students see the connections between classic literary texts and the contemporary and popular fiction they’re reading.
Most of the time my research feeds my teaching and vice versa. I’ve been working with Dr. Johnson and Dr. Price to revive my personal and professional interest in peace studies on a curriculum for our proposed Peacebuilding and Social Justice Program. As part of that effort, I’ve designed a course called Building Peace, Building Community that I’m very eager to teach and hope to be able to offer not only for the program but also as part of the Integrative Core.
Best Part of the Job
I love talking to students, especially outside of class. I just had all my Fist Year Seminar students over to my house for movies and Chinese food—that was really fun. I think I’ve done some variation of that with my first-year students in the fall semester from back in the old days of LS 100.
It’s Chapman Hall. I love old buildings. I remain really happy to have an office in Chapman.
Mount Union Unique
Orville Hartshorn’s original vision of liberal arts education for people who work is the foundation of what makes Mount Union unique; that’s what attracted me to Mount Union initially and I hope to contribute to maintaining and even strengthening that tradition.
At our very best we graduate students who are intellectually curious. They are open to new ideas and experiences but challenge and test those ideas. They are analytical and imaginative readers, thinkers and problem solvers. They are well grounded in their individual disciplines and professional training but can also work across disciplinary boundaries.