In my experience, everything useful is interesting, and everything interesting will, eventually, reveal itself to be useful. As a student, I let my curiosity guide me, trusting that the breadth of my studies would lead to the right career. I earned both a BA and MA in American Studies, and these degrees gave me the chance to explore the intersections of food, ethics, politics, gender/sexuality, and popular culture. As a young professional in higher education, the needs of my own students guided me, and I completed graduate certificates in TESOL and Strategic Management. These courses were practical but no less interesting for it. Loving what I study and studying what I love have served me well over the years.
Both mindsets prepared me to serve as Writing Center Director and Lecturer in English at a liberal arts institution like McDaniel College. Here, I try to pass that same sense of curiosity onto my students, whether that’s in a classroom encouraging them to explore their own research interests, in an advising meeting hearing my students share their passions, in a tutoring session guiding writers to discover their talents, or in staff meetings pushing my tutors to identify career connections.