How SJU Writes

A student-directed interview series of writers in the Saint Joseph's community

How a Food Writer Writes

Tenaya Darlington, M.F.A.
I've been working on a book of my own, and the [writing] process has been very scattered. Mostly I wake up, open a new document, and just go.  
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How a Professor of Education Writes

Shoshanna Edwards-Alexander
Find something that will make you inspired to write.
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How a Classical Studies Professor Writes

Maria Marsilio, Ph.D.
Approaching a writing task means I don’t want to simply repeat what everybody else has said and say it in a different way. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t be advancing the conversation.
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How an Accounting Professor Writes

Professor Frederick Teufel
The numbers are the easy part. It’s telling the story where it is difficult.
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How a Political Scientist Writes

Laura C. Bucci, Ph.D.
Political science writing, when it’s done well, talks about power in consistent ways and lets us know what the stakes are, what things are important, why all of this matters. Good writing in general tends to do that.
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How a Film Professor Writes

Deron Albright, Associate Professor
Don’t worry about the rules so much. There’s plenty of time for that.
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How an Art Professor Writes

Martha Easton, Ph.D.
Writing in art history is really like writing in any discipline. You need to write clearly. You need to have an argument. You need to demonstrate what you’re saying.
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How A Campus Minister Writes

Fr. Dan Ruff
By the time I sit down to actually write, I usually have a pretty solid outline in my head of what I’m planning, so it usually goes fairly easily.
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How a Spanish Professor Writes

Professor Colavita-Jacyszyn
I think culturally, knowing the different languages and having the cultural awareness has definitely helped my writing.
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How a French Professor Writes

Kristen Burr, Ph.D.
The more you write, the better you get at it. It makes sense to brainstorm, to outline, to do a rough draft, and to get feedback from different people. 
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How A Program Specialist for Inclusion and Diversity Experiential Programming Writes

Imani Briscoe
I know that writing to some extent is meant for me, and it has some bigger part to play in the future in my life.
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How an Athletic Director Writes

Jill Bodensteiner
Now the purpose of my writing, depending on my medium, is to sell people on my vision, whether it’s recruiting prospective student athletes or staff, giving speeches or writing tweets.
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How a Strength and Conditioning Director Writes

Brian Bingaman
When push comes to shove, I am someone who has to spit my ideas onto paper, and then I will go through and start working them out.
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How A Student Disability Services Director Writes

Dr. Christine Mecke, EdD
I roll things around my head for a long time before I get something down in writing.
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How an Economics Professor Writes

Laura Crispin, Ph.D.
Tell us something important and what you’re contributing to that greater literature.
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How an English Professor Writes

Owen Gilman, Ph.D.
Write fresh, with energy. Use all of the freedom that you need.
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How a Finance Professor Writes

Todd Erkis
You need to be able to write, write consciously, and write in a way that people understand.
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How a Campus Ministry Associate Writes

Katie Seibly
I also use journaling as a tool for reflection--journaling in kind of an unstructured way, with some guided questions or just open time to think about what’s on your mind, what’s on your heart.
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How a Political Science Professor Writes

Susan Liebell, Ph.D.

I revise and revise and revise.

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How a Theology Professor Writes

Aaron Reich, Ph.D.
To me, academic writing is not just typing and writing words down--it’s running into new ideas. That’s what I would say: the pursuit of curiosity.
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How An Athletic Communications Director Writes

Nicole Philpot, Assistant Director - Athletic Communications
"It’s always interesting to tell a story in a different way, whether someone is achieving a personal milestone or a historical milestone."
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How a Marketing Professor Writes

Janée Burkhalter, Ph.D.
I think reading is the best. And practicing, practicing your writing.

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How a Residential Area Manager Writes

Courtney LaGanke, Residential Area Manager
I think it’s important for students to ask questions.
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How a Campus Ministry Associate Writes

Grace Davis, Campus Ministry Associate
It’s something special to write to people. For me, in that writing process, I think a lot more deeply than I would if I was just texting or calling.
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How A Philosophy Professor Writes

Ginger Hoffman, Ph.D.
"Make sure you know the contours of your argument first, and then write it, maybe revise it immediately, but at some point revise it after you haven’t been working on it."
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How an English Professor Writes

Jason Mezey, Ph.D.
I had a professor who always told us to “have fun” with our assignments, and I always put “Good luck and have fun!” at the end of each assignment. Even if the chances of having fun are very slim, well, it’s still an idea.
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How an Archival Research Librarian Writes

Chris Dixon, Librarian
I need a good editor. I’m a pretty good researcher. If I were to actually write, I would need a writing partner to look at things and edit.
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How a Political Scientist Writes

Lisa Baglione, Ph.D.
Being young is wonderful on many levels, but for some of us who struggle with confidence, it’s just such a hard time, because these blows, these criticisms, can set you back.
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How a Theology Professor Writes

Brendan Sammon, Ph.D.
There’s so much happening in a work of art, that’s why it pulls us in, but there’s a lot taken for granted. So, a good analysis of that would help us better foreground what it does for us and how it allows us to see things that aren’t so easily visible.
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How a Songwriter Writes

Daisy Abrams '19
"I think everybody has their way of expression...It’s just a matter of working it like a muscle. And the more you do it, the more you get that infinite ability to just tap into something."
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How a Philosophy Professor Writes

Caroline Meline, Ph.D.
"My advice to students on writing is to talk on paper. Just talk, let it happen, and don’t criticize until later."
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How a Music History Professor Writes

Elizabeth Morgan, Ph.D.
"I like it when you feel like you're solving a puzzle."
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How A Spanish Professor Writes

Elaine Shenk, Ph.D.
"Revise, revise, revise."
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How A Young Adult Novelist Writes

April Lindner, Ph.D.
"Read widely and deeply in the discipline you want to write in."
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How a Classics Professor Writes

Henry Bender, Ph.D.
"I think with writing, you do the thinking and reading first—that is, like tilling the soil. You can’t grow the crops unless you have soil and moisture to make things grow. And then you write."
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How a Student Activities Director Writes

Beth Hagovsky, Ed.D.
"You have to reread. I think a lot of people don’t reread their emails before they send them." 
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How an English Professor Writes

Melissa Goldthwaite, Ph.D.
Just do it.” I know it’s a Nike commercial, but it’s also very good advice.
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How a Chemist Writes

Peter Graham, Ph.D.
"When you can summarize a big idea in very few words, it’s like saying 'E=mc2.'"
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How an Attorney Writes

Dave Tuason '03, J.D.
"Eliminate unnecessary words. It’s really key...."
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How English Professors Write

Ann E. Green, Ph.D.
You’re going to write and you’re going to fail. It’s not going to be the best American novel or an “A” paper all the time, but you just have to keep doing it.
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How a Chief Diversity Officer Writes

Monica Nixon, Ph.D.
"Writing allows people to digest, to have an initial response—even if it’s one that negative—and to revisit."
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How Campus Ministry Writes

Beth Ford MacNamee
"The more that I read, the more I have a sense of what my writing should look like."
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How Golf Writers Write

Tom Coyne, M.F.A.
"If we all sat around and waited for the perfect story, the perfect sentence or the perfect paragraph or the perfect chapter, if we’re not going to write till we have that, we wouldn’t write at all."
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How History Professors Write

Alison Lewin, Ph.D.
"Nobody writes as well the first time as the third time. Nobody."
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How Playwrights Write

Tom Smith, '18
"When it comes to writing a scene or any kind of fiction, I approach it by looking at other writing that inspires me...."
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How Campaign Directors Write

Sean Coit, '10
"Anyone can rattle off facts. It’s important to find the real people behind the facts."
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How Management Professors Write

Lisa Nelson, D.Sc.
"The best thing I ever wrote was probably in the first grade. I had to write about why my mom was the best mom in the world."
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