Q1: Please provide your name and some contact information for us.
Name: Jennifer Swartz
Current title: Assistant Professor of English; Director of the Writing Center
Campus Address: Box M15
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Phone Number: 7456
Q2: Please provide us with your educational background.
Champion High School, Warren, Ohio
BA in English (magna cum laude), Kent State University, Ohio
MA in English, Kent State University, Ohio
PhD in English, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio
Q3: Describe your area(s) of research.
Victorian literature, composition theory, writing center theory, pop culture (specifically graphic novels, especially those that relate to Superman)
Q4: Tell us when you joined the faculty at Lake Erie College.
Q5: How and why did you get into teaching?
I like talking about books and writing. Getting to discuss big ideas with people and learn from and with them is important to me. When I was younger, I saw the film "Stand and Deliver” (1988), which is based on the true story of one man, Jaime Escalante, who taught calculus to at-risk students. Those students learned from him and excelled. That movie inspired me about what good teaching can do; not only does the ability to teach give one the chance to transmit knowledge, but also it enables people to build on what they’ve learned and pass it on to others.
Q6: Why did you choose to teach at Lake Erie College?
I taught for eight years at my previous institution in a full-time non-tenure-track position. While I was very happy there and worked with some wonderful people, I happened to be browsing "The Chronicle of Higher Education” one day and saw an advertisement for a full-time tenure-track position at Lake Erie College. I applied and, after a rigorous search process and an enjoyable campus interview, was hired. I’m blessed to work with wonderful people here, too.
Q7: Please give an example of a real-world application of the courses you teach.
English majors have the ability to succeed in any career they choose. In addition to teaching, English is an excellent foundation for those who want to pursue law school, journalism, library science or professional writing. Some recent LEC English graduates have gone on to graduate school in an assortment of disciplines. Others have obtained employment in many corporate settings. The diversity of opportunities that our English majors have indicates that potential employers want graduates who can communicate well, both verbally and in writing. These are necessary skills to have in today’s changing workforce. No matter your ultimate professional goal, being able to demonstrate the ability to read, speak and write well is essential.
Q8: Why do you love your discipline that you teach?
Again, I get to talk to people about books and writing. What could be better? For the writing aspect of my discipline, I love teaching both composition and literature. In both instances, it’s been amazing to be able to see students grow as writers and thinkers over the course of the semester.
Q9: What has been your proudest moment as a professor at Lake Erie College?
Our English majors graduate from LEC and do wonderful things. Recent graduates have been admitted to prestigious graduate schools, completed internships and study-abroad programs and obtained employment in a wide variety of fields. They are taking the education they earned at LEC and applying it in a multitude of ways—as hokey as it may sound, they are changing the world, and it is wonderful to be part of that process. I also was deeply honored to have been asked to speak at the recent Honors Convocation. It was a lovely surprise and I am grateful to have been recognized in this fashion by my colleagues.
Q10: What one to two life skills do you try to teach your students?
Writing matters. Thinking matters. A sense of who we are in relation to history and to our contemporaries matter. And kindness and compassion matter—we cannot be the best people we can be if we do not meet others with compassion and grace.
Q11: What one concept would you like every student to know and understand?
Q12: How do you interact with students outside of class?
Facebook and twitter. We also have events for the Learning Community students. Recent ventures have included trips to the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, the Superman House in Glenville and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.