Educational background: I have a Ph.D. from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago in religion and literature. I teach religion and humanities at UNI.
Position: Associate professor of religion
Arrived at UNI: 1994
Hometown: I grew up in St. Paul, Minn.
How would you best describe the Honors Program at UNI?
The Honors Program gives exceptional students the opportunity to take small classes with other exceptional students. It allows students to maximize and intensify their UNI education.
In your own words, how does the Honors Program help students? What are its benefits?
I think that the main benefit of the Honors Program is that it encourages faculty and students to create learning experiences that allow students more fully to develop crucial skills in critical thinking, writing, reading and speaking in small group contexts. Students in the Honors Program get more one-on-one time with faculty in the classroom.
What makes UNI unique?
It’s a small university with great students, faculty and staff, and excellent academic programs.
What makes the UNI faculty special?
We’re great?! :) Seriously, though, we care about our students’ learning, and want to prepare them to be as successful as they can be when they graduate, not only in their careers, but in life. I really want my students to be able to have interesting lives, where they remain curious about the world around them, where they have the ability to work to make positive changes in their communities, where they travel to exciting places, have interesting conversations…and so much more!
What has been the highlight of your career at UNI?
Wow, there have been so many! One highlight was winning the University Book and Supply Untenured Faculty Teaching Award, long ago, before I received tenure. Another has been teaching Honors courses.
What is the best part of your job?
The very best part of my job is when old students e-mail me out of the blue, years after they graduate, and thank me for something I did for them—usually it’s something I’d never expect. I had a former student tell me that she learned how to take herself seriously as a student, and to be a good student, in my Religions of the World class; that meant a lot to me. I love to find out what former students are doing, and how their lives after UNI are going. I wish more students would stay in touch!
If you could do anything in the world, is there another profession/vocation you'd like to try?
Oh, I’d definitely be a professional baker.