As an undergraduate student, I majored in biology, chemistry and biochemistry and minored in music. Every time I had space for an elective, the courses that sounded most interesting to me were in religion, so I ended up with a religion minor as well. I went to graduate school for biology, but I realized it wasn’t where I was supposed to be, so I left after finishing a master’s degree and went to seminary and then on for doctorate degree in Hebrew Bible. My love of Hebrew led me to studying the Bible as my specialty.
My book Metaphor and Masculinity in Hosea was published last year, which was rewarding. It’s always a thrill to read an article or go to a presentation and see my work cited because it means I’ve become part of the scholarly conversation in my field. I am also President of the Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society.
I like to bring music and art into the classroom when possible to help students think about interpreting texts. In some of my classes I also use film. I use exercises in which students compare texts in small groups. I introduce students to different approaches to the text by having them read and present a variety of articles. Probably my favorite assignment for students is a creative interpretation of a biblical text.
Favorite Part of Teaching
I love working with students and helping them discover new and more complex ways to understand texts. It’s rewarding to see students start to make connections and see things that they had not previously noticed. I also love doing my own research and seeing new things and connections myself.
Places on Campus
I love the windows in my office. The North Reading room in KHIC is a great place to hang out, because of the light and the view. I hold my Hebrew reading group there.
Mount Union Community
Mount Union has an identity as an institution that meets students where they are and helps them rise to a new level. It has a strong and enduring sense of community.
We have strong programs that help our majors, minors and students from across campus develop capacities for empathy, critical thinking and communication that will help them to succeed and have a meaningful life in whatever careers they undertake. Learning to understand and work with different perspectives and different cultures is essential for living in an increasingly interconnected world, and these are things that the humanities, including religious studies, foreground.