Archive for the ‘Faculty Profiles’ Category

New SNL Online Faculty Teaching in Winter 2012

January 3, 2012

Dr. Gregory Caicco is a former Jesuit who worked on the South Side of Chicago and with refugees in Guatemala. Before, he practiced as a professional architect in Toronto after earning a professional B.Arch. in Ottawa. Afterwards he did his graduate work in philosophy as well as the history, theory and philosophy of architecture/art earning an M.Phil. at Cambridge University in England, and M.A. in philosophy at Loyola University Chicago, and a Ph.D. at McGill University. Dr. Caicco taught history, theory and ethics of architecture at McGill and at Arizona State University where he held the Lincoln Chair of Ethics in Architecture and Environmental Design from 2000-04. He has published widely, including the 2008 book Architecture, Ethics and the Personhood of Place. He is currently working on a monograph concerning the architectural ethics of Saint Francis of Assisi in the Italian 13th c. Gregory will be teaching IN 307 Advanced Elective Seminar – Italian Renaissance.

Mark Enenbach has been a member of the SNL Part Time faculty since 1988. He is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for The Community Economic Development Association. He received his M.A. in Urban Planning from Loyola University. Mark will be teaching China Money, Power, and the 21st Century.

James Kimsey earned his M.S. in Music Technology from Indiana University-Purdue School of Engineering Technology (IUPUI), and his B.A. in Telecommunications from Indiana University, where he also studied Audio Engineering and Jazz Improvisation. Jim has worked extensively as a professional musician and has instructed in guitar and piano since 1981. He has also been a video/audio producer for over 25 years.

Nancy Morgan has an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language from Teachers College, Columbia University, NY, and an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago. She has written and produced educational video programming for students and instructors, K-12 and Higher Education, on a range of topics. She has been and online instructional designer for the past 5 years and has also taught online courses. Nancy will be teaching HC 239 Globalization: Winners, Losers, and Social Justice.

Scott Murdoch has been teaching Biology since 1997. He holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Biology and is currently an Associate Professor and Department Chair of Biological Sciences at Moraine Valley Community College. His interests lie in many areas of Biology including Botany, Zoology, Ecology, and Human Anatomy and Physiology. He is also the co-director of MVCC’s Nature Study Area, a 40 acre prairie restoration site on campus. In his spare time Scott likes to hike, run, camp, garden, laugh, and watch children play. Scott will be teaching SW341 Ecology of Personal Life.

Regina Spellers Sims holds a Ph.D. in Intercultural and Organizational Communication from Arizona State University. She also has an MBA from University of Bridgeport. She is president/CEO of Eagles Soar Consulting, LLC which provides training, writing, curriculum development, and research services. Her teaching and research focuses on gender/girlhood studies, multicultural intergroup relations, business, and hair/body politics. Her award winning publications include a co-edited volume, book chapters, journal and magazine articles, and web based study guides.

Derise Tolliver Atta is a licensed psychologist, is a member of the SNL Resident Faculty and Director, SNL Tangaza
Project. She earned her doctorate from Duke University. Her professional and research interests include African-centered psychology, spirituality, cultural issues in psychology and education, and HIV/AIDS. Derise will be teaching LL 205 Foundations of Adult Learning.


Meet SNL Online Faculty Kathryn Wozniak

April 14, 2011

SNL Faculty Kathryn Wozniak

Tell us about your educational background and where you worked before SNL

I received both my B.A. in English and my M.A. in Writing from DePaul, which makes me a “Double Demon” in DePaul lingo. However, I am also working on my Ph.D. in Computer Science at DePaul, so that will make me a “Triple Demon” in a few years! Before joining the writing faculty here at SNL, I had a variety of writing and editing jobs. Most recently, I was a copywriter and document designer for a large industrial supply catalog company. While in college, I worked as a tutor and outreach coordinator at DePaul’s Writing Center and was the recording secretary for the Plan Commission of Riverside, IL. I also freelanced for various companies and entrepreneurs, including and Genevieve Thiers, the CEO of

Between all of the writing and editing jobs, I found work wherever I could. I’ve worn the hats of a dentist’s assistant, barista, lathe operator, pet sitter, waitress, and bartender. One of the more significant of my previous jobs was my first job at a small dry cleaning company on the southwest side of Chicago, where I worked from ages 15-18. Despite my initial resistance to entering the work world at 15, I am thankful that my parents helped me to build a strong work ethic and understanding of self-sufficiency at a young age. I haven’t stopped working since then!

What intrigued you most about DePaul and SNL?

I grew up in Chicago, so DePaul was my number one choice for college because it was both urban and diverse. It also had a strong reputation for academics, but it wasn’t elitist. I was first introduced to SNL’s program in my junior year at DePaul, when I met a few SNL students who were fellow tutors at the Writing Center. I was intrigued with the flexibility and connection to experience that SNL courses offered adult students. Many SNL students brought drafts of their ILPs and Advanced Projects to the Writing Center, and it was refreshing to work with them on projects that were so different from traditional academic assignments. Also while working at the Writing Center, I met Michelle Navarre Cleary, SNL’s Writing Coordinator and Assistant Professor, who worked with me to spread the word about the Writing Center throughout SNL. Michelle’s determination and leadership as the SNL Writing Coordinator makes SNL’s Writing Program one of the most dynamic writing programs for adult students I’ve found. After I obtained my master’s degree, I learned about an opening to teach writing at SNL, so I jumped on that opportunity.

Besides your work, what are your other interests?

Even though I am a writing instructor, I am working on my Ph.D. in computer science because I am interested in the connections among technology, rhetoric, and writing in digital environments. I’ve also found that many of the processes we use to write are very similar to processes designers and developers use to create software, hardware, and websites. I am currently researching the role of ePortfolios in educational contexts, which supports these interdisciplinary interests.

On the weekends, you’ll probably find me playing djembe and bongo drums, practicing tribal and modern dance, attending music festivals and concerts, visiting new Chicago restaurants, camping, hiking, and cooking.

What classes do you teach?

I currently teach Academic Writing for Adults, Writing Workshop, Research Seminar, and Professional Writing. In the future, I hope to develop and teach SNL courses related to rhetoric, technical writing, and digital media.

What do you like most about working at DePaul and SNL?

SNL students have made teaching one of the most rewarding experiences in my life so far. On my way home from my first night of teaching for SNL, I thought “I want to do this for the rest of my life!” Working with SNL students to strengthen their writing skills, reflect on experience, and advance their education gives me a true sense of connection and purpose. It’s also a reciprocal learning experience–we learn from each other.

In addition, without the consistent support and encouragement from DePaul and SNL faculty and administrators, I would not be where I am today. For the last 10 years, they have provided an environment that is both challenging and nurturing.

What advice would you give to current students taking online classes?

Writing is often the main mode of communication and community-building in online courses, so take every opportunity to strengthen your learning experience while honing your writing skills, especially on discussion boards. Challenge yourself, make thoughtful claims, get to know other online students, ask lots of questions, be creative, and have fun!

New SNL Online Faculty Teaching in Spring

April 14, 2011

Stephen Reid earned his BA in Political Science from DePaul University’s SNL, a J.D. from the University at Buffalo with a concentration in Civil Litigation, and an LL.M in Corporate and Securities Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Steve will be teaching LL155 Critical Thinking in the spring.

Deborah Snyder will be teaching SW 217 Wanted: Best & Brightest in the spring.

Regina Spellers Sims holds a Ph.D. in Intercultural and Organizational Communication from Arizona State University. She also has an MBA from University of Bridgeport. She is president/CEO of Eagles Soar Consulting, LLC which provides training, writing, curriculum development, and research services. Her teaching and research focuses on gender/girlhood studies, multicultural intergroup relations, business, and hair/body politics. Her award winning publications include a co-edited volume, book chapters, journal and magazine articles, and web based study guides. Regina will be teaching DCM 313 Learning from Experience/Self Assessment in the spring.

Maude Toussaint-Comeau holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a M.S. in Economics from Temple University, and a Ph.D. Degree in Economics/Public Policy Analysis from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has extensive experience as an economist and educator, including significant publications, and is a Senior Business Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Maude will be teaching HC 157 Economics for Decision Making in the spring.

New Online Faculty Teaching in Winter

December 22, 2010

Kenya Grooms received a B.S. in Child Development from Northern Illinois University and an M.A. in Psychology from National-Louis University. She received her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology. She completed her clinical internship at Will County Health Department, Child and Adolescent Behavioral Services and has worked in community mental health and faith based settings. She also teaches graduate level clinical psychology courses.

Clifton McReynolds obtained a Bachelor of Music Education from Free Will Baptist Bible College in Nashville, TN and a Master’s of Music from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He has taught music and mathematics at private and public schools in Tennessee, Illinois, and the United Kingdom.

Rev. Charles F. Shelby, C.M., is a Vice Chancellor at DePaul University. His duties are university-wide and include promoting the Vincentian and Catholic mission of the university, public relations, alumni relations, fund-raising, and correspondence. He is a priest of the Congregation of the Mission of Saint Vincent de Paul, the Vincentians, who sponsor DePaul University. He has a Master of Divinity from DeAndreis Seminary in Lemont, Illinois, and a Master of Science in Physics from DePaul University.

Meet SNL Resident Faculty Ruth Gannon Cook

September 27, 2010

Ruth Gannon Cook, Ed.D.

Tell us about your educational background and where you worked before SNL.

I received my Ed.D. from the University of Houston, College of Education, Curriculum & Instruction with a major in Instructional Technology, in 2003. I also received a Certificate for Advanced Studies from the Queens College, Cambridge, United Kingdom with an emphasis in Change Diffusion and Technology Integration. My M.S. Ed. is in Educational Administration and B.A. in Business are both from Loyola University, New Orleans. I currently serve on the Board of Trustees for the Cordell Hull Foundation for International Education, New York, and the JUNO Foundation, London, a nonprofit corporation that builds temporary medical treatment centers in Africa and Asia, and I have also served on the Board of Trustees for the Pediatric AIDS Program of Children’s Hospital New Orleans and the Amigos de los Americanos in Houston, Texas.

I have taught at the School for New Learning of DePaul University for the last seven years. Prior teaching included the University of Houston-Clear Lake, the University of Houston, and Colorado Mountain College in Vail, Colorado, where I both taught and served as Program Director. My earlier career included hosting a radio show and cable TV show for six years, and as a vice president for a manufacturing company.

What intrigued you most about DePaul and SNL?

I have always loved St. Vincent and what he represented. In New Orleans my father was always active in the St. Vincent Society and the Ozanam Bridge House for the Homeless which was affiliated with the Society. When I had the opportunity to interview with DePaul University School for New Learning, I felt St. Vincent was sending me a message that maybe it was my turn for service. I love the commitment to the mission of service, that we are truly committed to our students at DePaul and SNL.

Besides your work, what are your other interests?

I love my research which centers around semiotics, (the study of metaphors, symbols, narratives, mathematical signs, etc.) so technology and semiotics are what I spend my time on outside work. (I do try to go back to New Orleans when I can though, for the food, music, family and for whatever I can do to help the area).

What classes do you teach?

My teaching has included applications of technology courses, training, and organizational change courses, and core courses, such as Research Seminar and Foundations of Adult Learning in the undergraduate and graduate SNL programs.

What are some of your research interests?

I’ve done extensive research on e-learning and both student and teacher satisfaction, but my real love is my semiotics research which I also combine with my online learning research. I’ve been very fortunate in being asked to chair international conference panels in Europe and in having five book chapters and four peer-reviewed journal articles published this last year that have featured my research on pan- and cyber-semiotics and e-learning.

What advice would you give to current students taking online classes?

Hmmm, for students currently taking online courses, the hope would be that they had good time management skills so that they could juggle the demands of their online coursework with their work and lives. I would also recommend they always ask their teachers for help if they get confused because the first line of defense is their teacher. The teacher may encourage them to also post their questions to the online Q&A Discussion Conference so that others who may have the same questions (but are afraid to ask) can have a chance to get the same information. That way it’s a win-win for everyone, including the teacher, because she/he can answer questions and nip any potential student problems in the bud!

New Fall SNL Online Faculty

September 17, 2010

Nancy Davis received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and an undergraduate degree in History from Bryn Mawr College. Her doctoral work examined the relationship between the African-American community and the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit in the first half of the twentieth century. Since then, Dr. Davis has published extensively on the rubbing of Catholicism and African American life and protest. An article on the 1960s Black Catholic protest in Detroit was published in fall 2008 by U.S. Catholic Historian.  She will be teaching Foundations of Adult Learning for SNL Online

Chuck DiCola earned his undergraduate degree at SNL and a Master’s in Education with a concentration in history. He has taught classes in Critical Thinking, American culture and music, and short stories at SNL. He will be teaching Critical Thinking for SNL Online.

Stephanie Triller’s teaching experiences include the City Colleges of Chicago, East West University, Marist High School on Chicago’s South Side, and most recently, Sts. Peter and Paul School in Jimma, Ethiopia. She received her M.A. in English from DePaul University and a B.A. in English Literature and Religious Studies with a minor in Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. She will be teaching Writing Workshop for SNL Online.

Michael Tokar is a certified Project Management Professional with a Masters of Science in Project Management and a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems. He has over 20 years of experience managing an extensive range of diverse projects. He will be teaching Essentials of Project Management together with Norene Trondsen for SNL Online.

Kathryn Wozniak holds an Master’s in Writing from DePaul University with concentrations in rhetoric, professional writing, creative non-fiction, and pedagogy. Katie has made conference presentations on classroom collaboration, feminist rhetorical theory, and Writing Center theory. She will be teaching Academic Writing for Adults for SNL Online.

New Faculty Teaching in Summer

June 22, 2010

Joseph Chen is a licensed clinical psychologist and a member of the full-time faculty at the SNL. He received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Wheaton College and completed his doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. His clinical experience includes: community mental health, juvenile corrections, and university counseling centers. His research interests include: the impact of culture on perceptions/behavior, the change process, health and wellbeing, and the influence of groups/community/systems on worldview development.

David McKellin earned his Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Michigan State University. His areas of expertise include talent management, job and organization design, organizational change management and technology integration. For over 20 years he has consulted large and small companies across the consumer products, manufacturing, telecommunications, and non-profit sectors.

Valerie Worthington holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Dartmouth College and a doctorate in educational psychology from Michigan State University. She has held positions in multiple educational settings, including non-profit organizations, traditional universities, and for-profit universities, giving her a wide variety of experiences related to educating a wide variety of students.

Connect with SNL Online’s Jana Berger

June 10, 2010

Jana Berger

Jana Berger is an attorney who serves as defense counsel in cases involving premises and product liability. She earned her Juris Doctorate degree from Roger Williams University School of Law. She is an expert in Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and has written extensively on Privacy rules. She is a member of the SNL Online Part-Time Faculty.

Tell us about your educational background and where you worked before SNL.

I’m a Michigander . . . and I’ve lived in the state most of my life. I attended Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan – the Upper Peninsula where it snows in May and classes were cancelled when it hit -40 degrees! I graduated in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science / Pre-Law. German was my minor. From 1995 to 1998, I attended Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island. It was an extraordinary place to live and study, just about 20 minutes northwest of Newport, Rhode Island. After earning my Juris Doctorate, I returned to Michigan. I’ve been practicing law ever since and am currently a partner at Foley & Mansfield, P.L.L.P. I work in our Detroit office; however, I do get to our Chicago office now and again for depositions, meetings, etc.

What intrigued you most about DePaul and SNL?

My parents were both public school teachers. My older brother is a public school teacher. I guess you could say that “teaching is in my blood.” Unfortunately, it’s not something my busy career and other activities allows for. Thank you DePaul! The opportunity to teach in an online community has offered me the flexibility to do something I truly enjoy while continuing to remain devoted to my career as an attorney and my other interests.

Besides your work, what are your other interests?

I enjoy my time with family and friends. I’m close to my two brothers, and my nieces and nephew. I always look forward to seeing them. I love traveling – the more adventurous the better! I’ve taken a number of interesting trips to Romania and other Eastern European countries. I love spending time in Northern Michigan, near Traverse City, in the Summer. The sun sets, fresh air, walking wooded trails, looking for Petoskey stones, bon fires on the beach . . . I’m picturing my retirement as I write this. Ha!

Other interests: fishing, outdoor activities, competitive shooting, “spa day,” wine and music.

What classes do you teach?

I teach Property Law, Policy and Everyday Implications during the Spring and Fall terms. My proposal for Workplace Law: Harassment, Discrimination and Civil Rights was accepted by DePaul. So, I’m in the process of developing this course. The plan is to launch it this Fall. I’m looking forward to teaching it!

What are some of your research interests?

Federal Indian Law / Tribal Law is an area of law I am currently practicing. It’s hands-down the most fascinating area ever! There is so much history involved in researching legal issues facing Tribes. Also, the Native American culture, the languages. . . it’s all so intriguing to me. I hope that my work in this area lends support to the sovereign rights of Tribes in this country, as well as the rich traditions, languages and cultures of these peoples.

What do you like most about working with SNL Online?

Flexibility. It’s a convenient but an extremely effective way to teach and to learn.

What advice would you give to current students taking online classes?

Be very, very mindful of time management and the discipline it takes to “stay on top” of your studies. I believe it is easy to let the convenience of taking an online course to overshadow the discipline it takes to perform well when you have the flexibility to study on your own terms.

Get to Know Phyllis Kozlowski

March 19, 2010

Dr. Phyllis Kozlowski

Want to learn about art? Then you need to get to know Dr. Phyllis Kozlowski. A lecturer with the School for New Learning since 1995, Dr. Kozlowski teaches courses such as Expressing Yourself Through Paint, Exploring the Art Museum (online), and Intro to American Art and Architecture (online). What’s it like taking one of her courses? We’ll let Phyllis explain.

We have a lot of fun in Expressing Yourself Through Paint. Everyone gets to try their hand at watercolors and acrylics. We are our own critics. Many students come into the course with lots of inhibitions, among them wanting to maintain their grade point average or wondering how this course can impact their career path.  I always tell the students that the value of this course will allow them to experience creativity and that its value may come later in life when they need a little relief from their stressful day jobs.  In fact, many students have contacted me after graduation and told me they were continuing to pursue painting as an avocation.

I also teach courses through the Distance Education Program. Exploring the Art Museum provides an opportunity for you to learn how to enjoy and benefit from a visit to the art museum.  Coupled with art history, the course explores a variety of topics including how a museum is organized, how to look at a work of art, censorship and funding of the arts. Using the wonderful websites of such museums as the National Gallery in Washington, the Uffizi in Florence, the Louvre in Paris and the Art Institute of Chicago and others, we explore the highlights of each of the museums.

The Introduction to American Art and Architecture course (which is also offered online) focuses on major events in the evolution of American art and architecture. In this course, we learn the symbolism behind that famous painting at the Art Institute of Chicago, known as ‘American Gothic,’ why we still have difficulty looking at Abstract Art and why Samuel F.D. Morse left painting to invent the Morse Code. It includes a chronological history of American art and much more. After taking this course, you will want to visit the American collection at the Art Institute of Chicago.

In addition to teaching, I’m also an avid promoter of Chicago’s architectural heritage.  In fact, I train tour guides for one of Chicago’s oldest tour boat companies, Wendella. I can’t tell you how many times I‘m giving a tour on the Chicago River and we go under a bridge and I hear ‘Hey, Dr. Kozlowski!’ I look up and sure enough it is a former DePaul student. One of my students, Jennifer Perry, was hired as a tour guide and is now a boat captain for the Chicago River Taxi. Last year, my book The Chicago River Architecture Tour was published by Lake Claremont Press.

Being a tour guide has given me an opportunity to share the city with lots of interesting people. Among them Mayor Daley and Vanna White, who was here last year filming the game show Wheel of Fortune. Perhaps most exciting and stressful is giving tours when senior members of some of the best known architecture firms are on board for a river tour. I have to do my homework for those tours. There is no room for mistakes or misinformation here.

Traveling is something I also enjoy and for years I have escorted groups abroad on art related tours to more than 40 countries. Nothing gets me more excited then to see a member of my tour group experiencing for the first time the Pyramids, the Parthenon or the Colosseum. I still maintain that travel is a wonderful way to learn. Perhaps one of the most memorable trips was when I was recently invited to speak on the adult learner and arts education at Oxford University. It gave me an opportunity to share with arts educators from all over the world how arts education can impact our lives. Included in my presentation were personal testimonies from many of my DePaul students.

Well, I think that’s about enough for now. Feel free to contact me at I’d love to hear from you.

Connect with Ann Stanford

March 3, 2010

Ann Stanford

Professor Ann Stanford is a full time faculty member of the School for New Learning at DePaul University. She holds a BA from Hollins College, an MA and PhD in English from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. She specializes in 20th century women’s literature, literature and medicine, incarceration, women and the arts, and poetry from the 20th and 21st century. Ann’s a fascinating person; let’s learn more:

How long have you been at SNL?

Much longer than I thought I’d be!  Chicago is cold and I was raised in Florida.  I figured 5 years maximum and then I’d move back south.  That was 20 years ago.  Every year my connections to Chicago deepened and my love for DePaul, and especially SNL, grew.  How could I leave such a vigorous, exciting, and yes, cold, place?

What do you like about working at SNL and DePaul?

I enjoy being in a community of learners who have experienced some of life’s joys and it’s bumps as well.  My students have taught me a great deal.  Really, they have taught me how to teach.  It’s as simple and complex as that.  When I think of my most valuable lessons as a teacher, I recall they came from students.  Really, adult students are pretty savvy, don’t you think?  They bring so much to the table from which a teacher can learn and grow while she is helping them learn and grow.  I also love the diversity of students at SNL, reflecting Chicago’s great and wondrous diversity.

DePaul has been a place in which I have been able to experiment with projects that best reflect my own values.  I have never had to apologize or explain why social justice is important to me, for example, or learning outside of and beyond the classroom.

What is your current job title, and what are your primary responsibilities at SNL?

I have two job titles one is Vincent DePaul Professor at SNL and the other is Special Assistant to the Provost for Adult Programs.   I currently teach only occasionally and do so as a part-time faculty member, since the majority of my duties fall under administrative categories.  For example, I helped design and implement SNL’s new degree completion majors—course-based major programs in Applied Behavioral Sciences and in Leadership Studies.  I also worked with the College of Communication to help create and implement their new degree completion major in Professional Communication Studies.  For more information on SNL’s degree completion majors, click here and here.

I’ve also been working with the Tangaza College/SNL BA Program in Kenya.  Last year I was in Kenya 3 times and I plan to go this spring again.  SNL has graduated 2 cohorts of students and we have a 3rd cohort taking classes currently.

When you do teach, what are your classes?

I just piloted an online course I designed called “Talking Back to Medicine:  Writers and the Politics of Health.”  I’ll be teaching it again this spring quarter.  It was a great class and I learned so much from my students (this always happens at SNL, I’m happy to say).  We looked at a number of writers—novelists, essayists, non-fiction—and a film to examine how writers can help us think about medicine and health.  In this age of contentious health reform, attempts the class seems particularly relevant.

I’m also teaching a fall and spring Faculty Designed Independent Study to coincide with Chicago’s “One Book/ One Chicago” program.  I offer it for Advanced Electives.  What’s great about this course is that you get to learn from so many of the community events OB/OC offers. I have a group of students signed up for this coming quarter and we are eagerly awaiting the announcement of the spring 2010 book.

Do you conduct research?

All full-time faculty at SNL conduct research.  Most of us came into this field because of our love of research.  I’ve written many articles on African American writers; literature and medicine; and women, writing & incarceration, for example.  My book, Bodies in a Broken World:  Women Novelists & the Politics of Medicine was published in 2003.  I’m working on a co-edited volume of work called Word by Word:  Women, Writing & Incarceration.  I spent about 7 years writing with women at Cook County Jail, which lead to all kinds of things, among them, my interest in incarcerated writers.

I’m interested in beginning work on a project that looks at physical pain and the kind of mental pain of incarceration.  I’ll be using several literary texts to help me figure out the connection.  I believe there is one.  Hint:  Think of the body in pain as a cage.  Think of the prison as a cage.

I’m also conducting oral histories with the Daughters of Charity (the female counterpart to the order of St. Vincent DePaul) in Kenya.  These sisters have done amazing things with their lives and I and my research partner want to document that work.

Did you work anywhere else before you came to SNL?

Here’s something:  I was an adult student too.  I had worked in a variety of social change and social work settings, but without a degree.  In the early 70s, I co-directed residential facilities for street people in Washington, DC and for runaways in Colorado Springs.  As you can imagine, I learned a lot.  I worked for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development for several years as well.  It’s the Catholic Church’s domestic funding agency for grass-roots social change projects across the United States.

I began to feel the need to return to school (I’d done about 2 years of school in the late 60s) and found a continuing education program while I was working with exploited, abused, and neglected elderly people at a community service agency in Roanoke, Virginia.  I enrolled in a class at Hollins College and, BAM! I knew I wanted to keep going to school.  I majored in English with the plan of becoming a high school teacher, but one of my professors talked to me about graduate school and after picking my jaw up from the floor, I applied to UNC-Chapel Hill and went there for my M.A. and Ph.D. in English.

Because my BA work was so life-changing (and tumultuous at times), I knew I wanted to work with adults in some way.  After teaching at UNC in the English department, Women’s Studies, and 2 years in the medical school, I came to SNL.

Three years ago, I fulfilled a life-long dream and went back to school yet again to earn a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) in poetry.  It was a wonderful 2 years.

What do you do in your spare time?

I love to garden, just love it.  There is something so soul-nurturing about working with the earth and then seeing it respond with plants, herbs, vegetables and flowers. Such generosity!

I’m also an avid reader.  I love novels and poetry, of course, but I also like reading biographies and history as well.  I like to read books on subjects I know very little about, like the ecosystems found in the crowns of the giant redwoods and sequoias (Wild Trees) or essays by naturalists that open my eyes to the natural world around me.  I also walk nearly every day.  I attend Chicago Symphony Orchestra concerts, opera, and dance performances.  My partner and I like going to New York to see musicals and plays.

I also like silence.  Just silence.  One can meet oneself in new and profound ways in silence.

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