Favorite punctuation mark?
Favorite music to write to?
The Hamilton Soundtrack.
Committed and committee. All the t’s and e’s.
SJU Writes: What kind of writing do you do as a director of a department?
BH: For the most part, the majority of my writing is emails: replies, questions, you know, that kind of thing, answering inquiries. A handful of times over the course of a year, a director in student life, like myself, will be asked to compile reports that might be paragraph-based or they could be asking for a more bullet point, executive-type summary of things.
SJU Writes: What advice do you have for writing a professional email?
BH: You have to reread. I think a lot of people don’t reread their emails before they send them. Maybe use the editor functions your email allows you to use. I also would say don’t do it from your phone. I don’t think it is nearly as easy to send a grammatically correct and professional email from a phone as it is when you are sitting at a laptop or a computer and you have a minute to really compose your thoughts.
SJU Writes: You have a doctorate in education. Was your dissertation one of the more difficult things you’ve ever had to write?
BH: Yes and no. I genuinely enjoyed the dissertation process, so I wouldn’t necessarily say it was difficult. I’ll be honest. The most difficult stuff I ever wrote was back in high school and college. In some classes that I had, the teachers, or faculty, were sticklers for how to write , and would make you revise and revise and revise until it was done correctly. I’d rather write another dissertation than have to do those kinds of papers again.
SJU Writes: Do you think any of that structured writing has stayed with you in your professional writing?
BH: Oh my gosh, sure! I mean, OK, so I’m probably a bit of a contradiction because I’m also the person who sends every email in lowercase letters. That being said, those folks back then–they were both English instructors–really informed how I write in terms of grammar. Also the woman who edited my dissertation for me, a friend of mine and a lawyer, really made sure I nailed the grammar. She was a wonderful editor.
SJU Writes: What’s your favorite thing that you have written?
BH: When I was in fourth grade, I entered this short story competition for the city. I don’t remember what I wrote. What I remember is that I won a prize for it, and I got a ribbon, and I got to pick out a pumpkin from this weird pumpkin patch at the awards ceremony. But I just remember this feeling that I wrote something, someone read it, and I got positive recognition for it. So that’s what I take away from that experience even though I don’t actually remember what I wrote.