English Alumna: M.A. Literature
What brought you to CSU? I originally came to Colorado State University as a graduate student in the Literature program. I taught CO150 as a Graduate Teaching Assistant during my time in the program and realized I loved teaching composition more than I enjoyed doing research. That led me to decide not to pursue a PhD once I graduated and that I’d rather focus on teaching. It can be a rare thing to love your job and I’m lucky to have found a job that inspires me on a daily basis.
What is your favorite class to teach? My favorite class to teach is CO150- I have a certain fondness for this class as the one that helped me realize how much I value composition as an essential part of the college student experience and I enjoy getting to know the new freshman during their first year of experiencing college. I have fond memories of teaching this course and although I primarily teach CO300 now, I always have a special place in my heart for CO150.
Why are the humanities important? One of the most important qualities of the humanities is the way it cultivates empathy and fosters creativity. Reading literature gives students the ability to connect to the broader human experience and imagine themselves in other people’s experiences which I believe makes people better human beings. The humanities also teach critical thinking and reading skills which are skills that are important in the workplace as well a crucial part of being an informed citizen in our society.
What is your favorite author? This is a tough question! I studied The Canterbury Tales as part of my research in grad school so I always will have a fondness for Geoffrey Chaucer. However, when I read for fun I tend to pursue fantasy fiction so authors like J.K. Rowling, Cassandra Clare, or Cinda Williams Chima are my favorite fantasy authors. And my favorite poet is Sylvia Plath- she was the poet that made me fall in love with the idea of pursuing a degree in English when I was in college. I cheated on this one and actually gave you five authors- whoops!
What is your favorite word? Part of me feels like I should pick a really wise and complex word with a rich etymological history. The other part of me is going to just say Ootsburg because it’s the funnest word to say outloud. Saying it with a full Wisconsin accent makes it even better since it’s actually the name of a small town in Wisconsin!
Are you reading anything right now? Currently I’m reading a children’s book called Upside Down Magic as part of a reading book club I am volunteering for at my son’s elementary school. It’s interesting to read children’s books as an adult- it’s such a nostalgic experience. The book focuses on a school of magic for kids with magical powers that don’t fit the norm hence those with ‘Upside Down Magic’ and it teaches lessons about accepting differences and celebrating diversity.