In the English department, students develop lifelong relationships with their professors, extending beyond graduation and the classroom. This begins early on when students choose a faculty advisor.
Although much interaction occurs in the classroom–and the 3rd floor department hallway–professors also arrange and lead visits to local readings, conferences, and workshops. Many faculty members also have invited students into their homes.
Here are more ways English faculty get involved with their students:
• For the final Quercus editorial board meeting, a large group of 10+ students are annually welcomed into the Herzig home for a home-cooked meal and editorial discussion.
• Former student Lindsay Schaefer '05 enjoyed her professors so much that she joined the department as a colleague in 2008.
• Carl Herzig annually leads service learning trips to India over winter break. During this time Carl, students, and alums taught girls at Food for Life Vrindavan's Sandipani Muni School; comforted patients at the end of life in nearby (and not-so-nearby) towns and villages with the ambulance team from the Bhaktivedanta Hospice; and cared for rescued and protected cows at the Care for Cows goshala.
• In March 2014, the department afforded several students the opportunity to rub elbows with best-selling author Nicholas Sparks during a keynote and luncheon in Davenport (photo above).
Our topics courses – ENGL 120 Literary Topics, ENGL 320 Writing Topics, and ENGL 360 Advanced Topics – reflect faculty's individual specialty areas and interests. Past topics course offerings include Whitman & Dickinson, Literature and Film of the Vietnam War, Love Lyrics, Baseball in Literature & Film, Pirates & Piracy, and Nature of Good & Evil.
Faculty interests and passions make an impression on even our lower-level, introductory courses.
In English 101, Lindsay Schaefer revitalized a standard research paper assignment into an in-depth Ethnographic study. Her students are tasked to reveal the "secret lives" of a culture of their choice by observing, shadowing, and interviewing members of this local group within the community. Past cultures have included "the secret lives of" recovering alcoholics, birth moms, parents who have lost a child, accident survivors, small business owners, night shift waitresses, roller derby girls, larpers, etc.
Recently, Whitaker House published Carl Herzig's book The Fearless Passage of Steven Kim: The True Story of an American Businessman Imprisoned in China for Rescuing North Korean Refugees.
Pat Connelly has been attending ACIS American Conference for Irish Studies and presenting papers on literary pedagogy the last few years.
Barbara Pitz, Faculty Member of the Year, 2008 and served as Fulbright Senior Lecturer to Croatia (Yugoslavia) for 1 year
Bea Jacobson, Faculty Member of the Year, 2005/06
Lindsay Schaefer, Nancy Hayes, and Emily Kingery, Honored by Honors, 2013/14