B.A. in English, Alma College; M.A. in English, Grand Valley State University; M.Ed.in Higher Education with an Emphasis in College Student Affairs Leadership, Grand Valley State University
What do you like most about teaching at Grand Valley?
I enjoy the variety of experiences that the students bring to the classroom. Teaching at the Meijer Campus in Holland has provided me with the opportunity to work with traditional aged freshman and returning adult students. This variety leads to fruitful dialogue.
What is your favorite class to teach?
I love teaching LIB 100 Introduction to Liberal Education. As a philosophy and literature class it provides students the opportunity to really explore the concept of learning and the role that education plays in our lives.
What do students like best about your class?
I'd have to say that the comment I get most often from my students is that they appreciate my enthusiasm and passion for the subject matter. I love what I teach and I love working with students to create new ways of understanding the world around us. I think that positive energy is contagious and that really comes in handy in a three-hour night class.
How do you contribute to the success of your students?
I try to create a safe environment where students can take risks. Where they know it is okay to try something new and recognize that we don't always get it right on the first try. When we make mistakes, we learn. We reevaluate our process and try something new. If the environment isn't safe enough for students to feel like they can take a try and make a mistake, then they aren't necessarily learning.
What advice would you give to prospective students?
First, get to know your faculty and the staff members on campus. People work at GVSU because they love teaching and learning and want to provide students with opportunities to explore the curriculum, campus, country, and globe. Second, try something new. Don't just go to college and do all the things you already know you're good at.
What is the most rewarding aspect about teaching at Grand Valley?
For me, it is all about connections. The connections between the students, faculty, and staff at Grand Valley are tremendous. GVSU is a place where people genuinely care. This is a place where we want everyone to be successful and we help each other toward that goal.
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