Betsy Verhoeven, Ph.D. Small Susquepedia image

Betsy Verhoeven, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of English

Every day I look at the bulletin board in my office. It is full of thank you notes from students. These notes are really important to me because they validate what I do as a teacher and mentor, and remind me why I came to Susquehanna in the first place.

This is an institution that values writing.

I enjoy teaching the first-year Writing & Thinking course because it prepares students to think critically and communicate clearly, no matter what their major is. It sets them up for success. Later on, when they need to write a scientific paper or a business proposal, they have the tools they need to communicate their ideas.

Students laugh when I tell them to think of me, or anyone who reads their work, as a snowball that’s rolling down the hill. You want the reader to keep picking up more and more information, and not to get caught up in any sticks or debris along the way!

Learning to write well is a highly valued skill—one that employers everywhere demand. I think Susquehanna offers its students more opportunities than other universities to become really strong writers. The Writing Intensive requirements and the Publishing & Editing minor give students practical experience and make them extremely marketable when the time comes to apply for a job or graduate school.

As a writing teacher, I feel I really get to know students well, and they get to know me, too. The small, liberal arts environment fosters interaction on many different levels. We have great conversations about how to get the most out of life’s experiences, and how to reflect on them and be able to communicate our thoughts and ideas to others.

I’m constantly impressed with how hard our students work and how willing they are to take on challenges, both in and out of the classroom. At the end of the day, I always have a sense of great fortune to be able to work with such wonderful young people!

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