Great Expectations

A blog of the Department of English at BGSU:A place for faculty, students and alumni to connect.

Alumni Centennial Reflections Part 2

Posted by bgsuenglish on June 3, 2010

Continuing our occasional series in honor of the Department’s Centennial celebrations this year, here are a few more reflections by alumni from our various undergraduate and graduate programs.

Elizabeth Fleitz, PhD (2009):

What I appreciated most about the program was the variety of additional opportunities we got–the chance to teach an advanced writing course or other upper-division course, chances to tutor in the Writing Center, mentor in the GSW program, or perform administrative roles within the department. All of these diverse experiences–in combination with our assistantship, coursework, and research–helped me to grow as an academic. I also liked the level of encouragement we got to attend and present at conferences, which helped me get into the habit of talking about my research with others as well as networking with colleagues outside East Hall.

Jennifer Almjeld, PhD (2008)

I really cannot say enough wonderful things about my experience at BGSU. The faculty, coursework, and my amazing and talented peers and friends made my time in Bowling Green one the most precious and valuable times of my life. One teacher, in particular, was and continues to be a role model for me professionally and a gift personally. Dr. Kris Blair was my teacher and dissertation chair and she is now my colleague and good friend. Her work ethic and caring for students and their ideas has been a model to me and I can only hope to be as open, supportive, and inspiring to my own students. From the first moment I stepped into Kris’ computers and writing course I was immediately infected by her enthusiasm and seemingly endless knowledge about the field and soon found myself changing my specialization to multimedia. Kris also taught me, by example, the joys and challenges of outreach work. Through her work with the Digital Mirror Camp and within the computers and writing field her influence is felt far beyond the classroom and into the Bowling Green community she serves and the communities across the country where her students continue such work.

Christine Cucciare, PhD (2008):

I remember graduate school as difficult. Hard work. A lot of reading. Frequent awful weekends studying and grading papers. Agonizing dissertation setbacks. Disheartening predictions of job prospects. Soul-crushing stories of writing program administration. But thinking about it makes me smile. In fact, it makes me feel really good. The impact of Bowling Green’s Rhetoric and Writing Program became clear to me during the 2010 Conference on College Composition and Communication. Browsing the listings of sessions and walking the halls of the convention center, I saw graduate after graduate, colleague after colleague, professor after professor. It’s so rewarding to see the program from which I came produce so many scholars. We emerged hooded, prepared, and employable. All that hard work was worth it. Because there is not enough room for the many recollections I have about my experience, I can only highlight my especially fond memories of my classes and experiences with Kris Blair and Rick Gebhardt. I use what they taught me daily and my students are better writers and thinkers because of it. I am a better writer and thinker because of it. And lastly, I have a special gratitude for Rick’s Aunt Carrie, whose dressing is still a subject in each of my classes every semester.


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