Chairperson, Department of English
I’ve mentored several students in undergraduate research, as well as in departmental honors.
To guide student researchers you need the same qualities as those you need to be a good teacher: curiosity, love, patience and persistence.
Mentoring provides a lot of the same pleasure and satisfaction that I derive from classroom teaching, only intensified: There’s so much joy in sharing knowledge and ideas that I love with a younger person new to the field. They keep me excited and interested in my own work. There’s also tremendous pleasure in seeing someone learn and grow and discover their own intellectual gifts and talents – seeing them become more powerful and confident. I love seeing students come into their own – helping them become stronger writers and thinkers. I love my academic field, and it is so gratifying to bring new people into it, to really immerse them in the ideas and modes of thought in the discipline. For those who are going to become teachers, I can’t tell you how much it means to me to know that we’re sending people with real intellectual firepower into the teaching profession. And more personally, I’ve developed friendships and mentoring relationships that are deeper and longer-lasting than what one can develop when only engaging in the classroom. There is limitless satisfaction and joy in mentoring. It’s been one of the greatest sources of enjoyment and pride in my career.