Hometown: Spring Arbor, Michigan
Major: English Literature
Saying I felt supported by faculty during my time at Seattle Pacific University would be an understatement. I think the best word I could put to how faculty made me feel is loved. My professors celebrated my work and gave me all the encouragement I needed to thrive as a student and an emerging professional — but they also cared deeply about me as a person.
After graduating from SPU, I went on to Boston College to get my master’s degree in English literature. Seattle Pacific had prepared me well for the work there, and I loved getting to deep dive into research in my areas of interest.
As a part of that program, I taught first-year students and designed my own syllabus for the course. Teaching a college course soon after graduating was admittedly daunting. However, the pedagogical instruction of Dr. Moe and Dr. Hansen I experienced while at SPU, along with their input and encouragement after I graduated, made all the difference.
Majoring in English was never much of a question for me. The thing I was best at had always been reading. I thought, “How can I keep reading as much as possible?” — and I realized it was by becoming an English major.
At a very young age my parents taught me to value stories because they point us to what is true, good, and beautiful. My early love of stories eventually transformed into a deeper appreciation of literature. I took AP literature in high school, which convinced me that I loved not just reading books, but also writing and thinking about them too.
My parents taught at Spring Arbor University, a school similar to SPU. When I was looking at colleges to attend, I knew I wanted a small school where professors know your name and ask the important questions. SPU was one of two schools I applied to — that is how much I knew I wanted to be there!
While at SPU, I really valued learning from numerous professors. More specifically, Dr. Chaney, Dr. Thorpe, and Dr. Reinsma — all who encouraged me in life, writing, and my future career.
Additionally, Dr. Moe, who helped me at the writing center, has had a lasting impact on me. He encouraged me to think about pedagogy and to develop my own writing technique. Dr. Moe continued to be a mentor to me through my teaching and writing at Boston College. His joy in teaching has been an inspiration to me as I start my own teaching journey.
I am now teaching middle school language arts and religion at a Catholic school in Virginia — with plans to pursue a doctoral degree in the future. I am cherishing this time spent sharing my love of stories with the young and enthusiastic every day.