What brought you to CSU?
When my kids were little, I worked online through Johns Hopkins University, but then at a certain point, I wanted to get back into the face-to-face classroom, so I worked at Front Range Community College a couple of years until a spot opened up at CSU – and I was hired!
What made you want to stay?
I love the CSU community, I love the variety of courses I teach, and I appreciate the camaraderie and support of my department.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I love working one-on-one with students, so I conference with them a lot about their papers. I get to know them as individuals that way.
Why are the Humanities important?
So many reasons!! Honing critical thinking skills, putting current life/events in the context of history and other cultures, learning to communicate well in both speech and writing…I could go on and on.
What inspired you to pursue a degree in English, the Humanities?
I’ve loved reading and creative writing since I was little – two things we do a lot of in this area of study!
What special project are you working on right now?
I am going to writing conference in Montana this summer, and I am working on putting some pieces together for that.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Pretty sure I thought I would be the female John Denver. I had glasses like his and liked to sing.
What moment in the classroom stands out to you as most memorable?
My favorite moments are those when I reach students who never thought they could write or make it through the course – and they do, and they do well. It’s very rewarding.
What is your favorite thing to teach? Or your favorite thing about teaching?
Same as above – working one-on-one and the underdogs.
What advice would you give to a student taking a class in the English department?
Don’t let yourself get too far behind, and go in to see your professors earlier rather than later.
What’s the best advice you ever received?
It’s okay to let go.
What’s your favorite word?
“Blossom” and “blessing”– as in the James Wright poem “A Blessing”: “Suddenly I realize/that if I stepped out of my body I would break/into blossom.”
What are you currently reading?
The Book of Joy (conversations with Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama); The Excellent Lombards (Jane Hamilton).
What don’t your colleagues know about you?
How much I enjoy watching competitive cycling.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Receiving my MFA in poetry and reading from my thesis in front of a much larger than expected crowd at the Spokane City Council Chambers – and my knees didn’t buckle!
When you’re not working, what do you do?
Write, run, read, walk my dog, hike, xc ski, laugh with my kids, visit with friends, bake.