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Faculty Reflections

In all of my work at the Mount, I strive toward excellence in the areas of teaching, research, and service in the Catholic liberal arts tradition, which, as our mission articulates, "encourages each student to undertake free and rigorous inquiry leading to a reflective and creative understanding of the traditions which shape the communities in which we live." This is essential to participating in that which nourishes and sustains us all. As a teacher-scholar at Mount St. Mary's University, I am deeply mindful of my responsibility to provide all students with the interpretive and explanatory skills essential to realizing our institution's charge.

English courses challenge our students to participate in reflective and discursive practices through the reading of literary works. They encourage the development of modes of questioning that lead individuals to deepen and extend the range of their thinking. By this process, they may make critically informed decisions and meaningful connections with their private, public, spiritual, and academic communities.

As a teacher, I seek to engage students in various forms of aesthetic and literary study to help them sharpen their argumentative and analytical writing skills. My goal is to encourage their development as ethical and critical thinkers who enjoy creative, intellectual exchange. I want our students to demonstrate the virtues of humility and empathy, essential to the development of a mature and responsible person. To read the world with compassion is to enlarge the mind and expand the heart.

I prize the responsibility of creating rigorous, positively charged learning environments, and find significant satisfaction in helping students cultivate an aesthetic appreciation for a variety of texts as they develop confidence as critical thinkers, persuasive writers, and responsible citizens.

The following piece speaks to the strengths of the English major and of a liberal arts curriculum. It argues for the powers, pleasures, and intricacies that allow us to seek truth, beauty, and compassion in our world.

"The Ideal English Major" by Mark Edmundson, department of English, University of Virginia.

Sarah K. Scott, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English

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"The Ideal English Major" by Mark Edmundson
July 29, 2013

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