Previous FYC Faculty Spotlight Participants

November 2016

Dr. Molly Livingston

Meet Molly Livingston. Molly was kind enough to share one of her Best Practices during our October Composition Committee Meeting. Molly focused on the use of rubrics in the composition classroom. Thank you, Molly, for sharing your ideas and challenging your colleagues to think about their own teaching in inovative ways! (Below is a link to Molly's PowerPoint presentation on the use of rubrics.)

Bridget: How long have you been teaching at KSU and in what capacity?
Molly: I have been teaching at KSU since August of this year, as a Limited-Term Assistant Professor.

Bridget: What is your favorite thing about teaching at Kennesaw State in the English Department, and more specifically, the First-Year Composition program?
Molly: My favorite thing about teaching at KSU is my students!  I have found them to be consistently hard working, inquisitive, and open to new ideas.  

Bridget: Tell us a little bit more about yourself. What do you like to do in your spare time when you are not grading essays and attending meetings?
Molly: In my spare time I enjoy (not surprisingly) reading.  If I’m not re-reading something by George Eliot for the fifteenth time, I’m probably nose deep in a historical novel, particularly those based on actual persons or events.  When the opportunity presents itself, though, I’m also not at all opposed to sampling and critiquing Atlanta’s growing dining scene!  My present favorite spots include O-Ku (sushi) and Le Fat (Vietnamese), both located in West Midtown.   There’s no going wrong with their Hamachi Carpaccio or Softshell Crab Steamed Bun. 


October 2016

Yvonne Wichman  Yvonne Wichman

Meet Yvonne Wichman. If you’ve been around KSU for any length of time, you know about Yvonne and her great contributions to both our department and the university itself. She has been a part-time instructor in the KSU Department of English since Fall 1999, making this semester the start of her 18th year. But her roots at KSU run much deeper. She earned her BS here in 1993 and her MAPW here in 1999. She has served in many capacities over the years--from president of the KSU Alumni Association to president of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society to founding president of the Part-time Faculty Council.

 This semester she has been teaching in a Learning Community called “The Pursuit of Happiness.” She and her partner in the Pursuit of Happiness Learning Community, Dr. Hillary Steiner, were looking for an off campus event to foster community engagement with their students. Hillary teaches the KSU seminar component of the learning community while Yvonne teaches English 1101. When they learned of this event, the World Wide Day of Play hosted locally by the Kennesaw Parks and Recreation Department, they thought it would be a perfect event for the Learning Community! They applied for grant money from the Learning Community resources to have t-shirts printed for the class so that on the event day each Learning Community participant would all be dressed alike. Yvonne designed a simple graphic using the theme of peace, love, and happiness, which they coupled with their LC name, "Pursuit of Happiness," and included the KSU logo and University College info. Then even though they had used up all of their monies printing the shirts, Hillary and Yvonne decided to spend a little out of pocket change and treat the students to pizza and drinks after the event. Each participant had a great time spreading happiness to all of the Kennesaw families attending that day!

 Learning Community 1Learning Community 2Learing Community 3

 Yvonne tell us, “from [my] experience...many instructors shy away from learning communities, fearing they are too much additional work or too labor intensive coordinating with a team of other teachers, but if that's the case, then they are missing a wonderful opportunity to work in an environment that fosters teamwork and develops close relationships between first year students.” She has been teaching in a variety of learning communities since 2006 and has personally developed a few of her own, particularly the "Emergency! Are You Prepared?" community that began in 2009 and is still going strong. She has former students who still stay in touch with her, ones who first met their best friends in her LC classrooms and have remained steadfast friends ever since.

One last thing Yvonne would like to share is a blurb from a student evaluation that came out of one of her Fall 2015 learning communities: " ‘Professor Wichman turned our class into a family.’ While I love the compliment, it wasn't me who turned the class into a family, it was the students themselves. I simply nudged them along in the right direction!”

September 2016

Mary Behram

Mary Behram, Lecturer of English

Mary was kind enough to answer some questions for our first-ever Faculty Spotlight. I'm sure you will enjoy getting to know more about Mary.

Bridget: How long have you been teaching at KSU and in what capacity? 
Mary: I have been teaching at KSU for five years as a lecturer of English.


Bridget: What is your favorite thing about teaching at Kennesaw State in the English Department, and more specifically, the First-Year Composition program?
Mary: I appreciate the student-centered nature of the department and, particularly, the composition program.  Learning about other teachers’ pedagogical techniques during our composition meetings has enabled me to expand my own teaching repertoire and, thus, made me a more effective teacher.  Special events that the department hosts for its students like the “Shakespeare at 400” festivities last spring or the composition program’s annual Emerging Writers Contest help me to engender enthusiasm for reading and writing in my students.  When students participate eagerly in the Shakespeare discussion following his birthday celebration or excitedly inform me that they’re submitting a paper to the writing contest, I know these students now find school a delight, which, to me, represents teaching’s greatest reward!


Bridget: What do you like to do in your spare time when you are not grading essays and attending meetings?  
Mary: I currently am involved in a fiercely fought Fitbit™ battle with my mom.  We taunt each other regularly through Fitbit’s™ messaging service and trash talk constantly on the phone.  I’d like to say that we’re evenly matched, but, alas, she trounces me most days, usually exceeding 20,000 steps!  The only time I’ve ever beaten her was this summer, when my family and I went to Seattle, and we hiked up Hurricane Ridge at the Olympic National Park.


Bridget: What is your favorite city and why?  
Mary: With the exception of the weather (muggy, rainy, variably hot and cold), Philadelphia is by far my favorite city.  It may be because I went there for college and grew up partly in Wilkes Barre, PA, where a visit to Philadelphia was akin to traveling to Rome, but I think I love Philadelphia because of its great variety.  It has preserved its colonial history, making it resemble its slightly snooty cousin, Boston, but it also has a busy downtown and theater district, which reminds me of its bossy big brother, New York.  Philadelphia has its own Greenwich Village in South Street and the most beautiful arts district (I think) of any US city.  You can see big ships working their way up the Delaware, and you can eat your lunch, purchased from one of the city’s plethora of food trucks, in one the charming squares that its founding fathers wisely created.  Speaking of Founding Fathers, Ben Franklin chose Philly over Boston, which, to me, proves its superiority!  


Bridget: What is your favorite cuisine and why?  
Mary: I have a salsa addiction.  I put it on everything: chips, crackers, soup, grilled cheese....   Sometimes when I get home from work, I just open up the jar and take a spoon to it.  I have no idea why I love it so much, but I suspect it must be the salt!