Tag Archives: Sharon Grindle

~from intern Haley Huffman

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Special Instructor Sharon Grindle

Cloudy and cold days make Sharon Grindle just the tiniest bit homesick for the coast. Originally from California, Grindle moved to Colorado to pursue her dreams of teaching. “I’ve known for a long time, I think, that I wanted to be a teacher.” Grindle recalls childhood memories in which she begged her sisters to play school so she could pull out her easel and impart her wisdom on her pretend students.

Grindle’s parents recognized her passion for academics and pushed her to excel in many different areas. While this opened up a lot of opportunities for her, it also made it very difficult for her to choose a major when she got to college. Grindle describes herself as being very “humanities oriented,” which gave her some direction, although she remained undeclared for two years.

Grindle took three English classes with the same professor, which led to that professor pulling her aside for a wake-up call. Her professor had noticed that she exhibited a lot of the behaviors he liked to see in English majors and she definitely thought like an English major, leading her professor to the conclusion that she should probably give up the game and declare herself an English major. She also added two minors to her degree, Communications and Leadership Studies. “This is me acknowledging that I’m going to be an English professor, right?”

After graduating with her custom-created English professor starter pack, she took a gap year before applying to grad schools. That one year away from the classroom solidified her desire to teach. So the hunt for grad schools began. “I looked for graduate programs that … would pay me to teach so that I could just teach and go to school.” There weren’t any schools that met the requirements in Grindle’s home state of California, but in an effort to still be close, she chose schools in the western states.

Grindle decided on Colorado State University because of the comprehensive training that is provided for teachers. CSU offers a weeklong training course to prepare teachers for the classroom, while most other schools offer a half-day.

Ten years later and Grindle still resides in Fort Collins, occasionally missing the coast, but life as an English teacher keeps her busy.

One part of teaching is scholarship work. “A lot of the ongoing scholarship that I do is keeping up with shifts in thinking in the field. I do a lot of reading.” But Grindle has been making time to produce scholarship as well. She presented a conference paper last year on the Marvel series Daredevil. “I was looking at the way different characters in Daredevil talk about the vigilante.”

Marvel seems to be the inspiration for most of the scholarship that Grindle has planned for the future. “I’m kind of a big nerd.”

Grindle is not only looking at Marvel productions through the lens of an English teacher, but she is also examining the psychology and ethnic studies components. Grindle has plenty of fodder for her future scholarship endeavors, as Netflix continues to produce Marvel series like Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. The Marvel characters have been around for decades and tend to reflect our cultural pressures, which is what makes them so interesting to study. The end goal for Grindle and her Marvel studies is to work with fellow professor Ashley Davies to produce a book containing their research and scholarship on Marvel productions.

Grindle’s passion for the humanities not only shines through her scholarship work, but through her teaching philosophies as well. “The humanities is all about self improvement, having a well-rounded education, learning how to think and how to be a resistant, critical thinker.” Grindle’s advice for studying the humanities, and English in particular, is to come with an open mind. “Most English Department classes are about asking you to consider different opinions.”

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Professor Roze Hentschell and family (husband, Thomas Cram, daughter Eleanor, and son Felix) pictured attending the Newly Promoted and Tenured Faculty Reception at Colorado State University on Dec. 1. Other English faculty, Professor Ellen Brinks and Associate Professor EJ Levy, were also honored.

Professor Roze Hentschell and family (husband, Thomas Cram, daughter Eleanor, and son Felix) pictured attending the Newly Promoted and Tenured Faculty Reception at Colorado State University on December 1st.

  • Several faculty members began the academic year with changes in rank or appointment. EJ Levy received tenure and promotion to associate professor and Ellen Brinks and Roze Hentschell were promoted to full professor. Sharon Grindle, Jenny Levin, and Dana Masden received Senior Teaching Appointments in recognition of their years of excellent teaching. Todd Mitchell moved to the non-tenure-track rank of Assistant Professor and was reappointed as Director of Creative Writing Pedagogy.
  • Sue Doe was awarded the Paulo Friere Educator Award for 2014 on December 6 by the Denver-based Romero Theater Troupe for “work on behalf of contingent labor in higher education.” The Romero Theater Troupe, a Denver-based group, addresses social justice issues through organic theater.  Along with several graduate students and NTTF, notably led by former grad student Vani Kannan (now at Syracuse U), Sue helped put together last year’s performance called, Contingency: A Crisis for Teaching and Learning which was performed on the campuses of CSU and Front Range Community College. The Fort Collins performances were subsequently folded into a larger production of the Romero Theater Troupe. An Adjunct at Ludlow integrated stories of adjunct faculty, undocumented workers, discarded senior workers, marginalized female workers, and embattled union workers, among others. Organic theater is participatory theater that depicts the everyday, often invisible violences that people experience, in the workplace, on the streets, at home, and elsewhere. Participant-actors write short scenes to depict their own experiences. The act of writing the play brings people together to address the social justice issues in question and the differences between actors. This work builds on Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed.
  • Tobi Jacobi and Ann Folwell Stanford (DePaul University) are pleased to announce the release of Women, Writing, and Prison: Activists, Scholars, and Writers Speak Out, an edited collection of essays and narratives on women’s experiences in prison (Rowman and Littlefield).
  • Tobi Jacobi presented a paper ((Re)writing ‘Lila: Stories from the New York Training School for Girls, 1920-1935) at the National Women’s Studies Association conference in San Juan.
  • The Community Literacy Center is pleased to announce the launch of the fall 2014 SpeakOut! Journal.  The issue, titled, “We Make Our Future,” features 68 community writers from our youth and adult programs.
  • Kristin George Bagdanov’s panel “Cultivating and Communicating Crisis in Ecopoetics” was accepted for the Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE) in Boulder this June. Also presenting on this ASLE-sponsored panel is 3rd year poet, Gracie McCarroll.
  • Kayann Short’s (English BA 1981; MA 1988) essay, “Floodables,” about the aftermath of Colorado’s 2013 flood, appears in the Winter 2014 issue of The Fort Collins Courier.
  • Chris Vanjonack has two short stories accepted for publication: “The Last Times You Saw Jenny McCreary” – Buffalo Almanack – Issue 6 – December 15th and “Last Letter Home” – New Haven Review – Issue 15 – Winter 2014.
  • Upcoming Event: SpeakOut fall journal launch. Tuesday, December 16, 6:30-8 pm at the Wild Boar Coffee Shop (lower level).  “Please join us to celebrate writing with Fort Collins poet laureate and English Department alumna, Chloe’ Leisure, and our youth writers. Refreshments will be served.”

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