September 01, 2016
Even as an award-winning poet with a doctorate in literature and creative writing, Catherine Pierce ’00 still feels the influence of her Susquehanna professors.
Susquehanna was everything Pierce had been looking for in a university-a small liberal arts college with engaging professors and a down-to-earth student body. Before Pierce even committed to Susquehanna, Gary Fincke, professor of English and creative writing, asked about her writing goals for college.
“The fact that he set aside time to talk with me before I’d even decided to come to SU seemed like a good sign,” she says.
Pierce valued the large family of writers on campus, which she says were vital to her development as a writer.
She is now a professor and co-director of the creative writing program at Mississippi State University, where she teaches literature classes and poetry workshops. Her poems have appeared in the Boston Review and several other magazines, and in the anthology, The Best American Poetry.
“When I teach my classes now, I work to emulate two important things that my professors at SU did. I take my students and their writing seriously, and I try to let my own enthusiasm for writing spill over into the classroom,” she says.