SPU English Department


Thomas (Tom) N. Trzyna

Thomas (Tom) N. TrzynaProfessor of English Emeritus
B.A., University of California (Berkeley), 1968; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Washington, 1974, 1977. At SPU since 1981.
Specialties: 18th century British literature, American ethnic literature, technical writing

Email: ttrzyna@spu.edu

Born outside Chicago, Tom grew up in South Pasadena and attended the University of California at San Diego, where he spent long hours reading on the beach. He transferred to the University of California (Berkeley) in 1966, a golden moment of peace between the Free Speech Movement and the protests against the war in Vietnam. Before starting graduate study, he worked as a bookkeeper and later as a hospital aide in Oakland, and he and his wife spent a year traveling in the US and Europe. He taught at Ohio State University before joining SPU. Educational consulting now takes him occasionally to Arabia. He is married with two adult children and two lovely grandchildren.

Tom’s academic interests include comparative religion and French literature, though his first love is the Enlightenment. He likes to work with students on practical applications of the English major, including technical and scientific writing. He also teaches the junior philosophy core course. His doctoral work focused on literary interpretations of Christian forgiveness.

Selected Publications

  • Meeting God. Asuncion, Paraguay: Presses Universitaires Internationales, 2009. (A novel about Islamic mysticism.)
  • Winning the Math Wars: No Teacher Left Behind. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2010, with Martin Abbott, Karen Smith and Duane Baker.
  • Toward a Global Ph.D.? Forces and Forms in Doctoral Education Worldwide. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008. Co-authored the introduction and conclusions of this collection of essays edited by Maresi Nerad and Mimi Heggelund.
  • Blessed are the Pacifists: The Beatitudes and Just War Theory. Scottsdale, Pennsylvania: Herald Press, 2006.

Among his other publications, students should check out Baby Bunny Gets a Tattoo. Seattle: Mr. Dog Press, 2005, as well as the other Baby Bunny books in the SPU Bookstore.


Tom is available to speak on a variety of topics, including pacifism and just war theory, mathematics education, trends in international education, university development, comparative religion, forgiveness studies, and some literary figures, including W.H. Auden and J-M. G. Le Clezio.

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