BGSU's doctoral program in rhetoric and writing provided the rigorous attention to theory and scholarship along with a flexibility in assignments and materials that allowed me to grow as a scholar. The focus on mentorship and vested interest in watching students grow and succeed is something for which I am continually grateful. Additionally, I will cherish the friendships I made with fellow students and faculty during my few short years engaged with the program.
The mentoring I received as a student in the Rhetoric and Writing program at BGSU was what made my experience so excellent. Mentoring was modeled and promoted by professors, through interactions with one another, with students, in candid conversations and structured meetings, like Third Fridays and the Post-Prelim Group. Additionally, mentoring occurred with my classmates / members of my cohort: we reciprocally encouraged one another's interests, experiences, and perceptions and tried to collaborate rather than compete. Through being mentored and mentoring in the rhetoric and writing program at BGSU, I learned and became a contributive colleague.
Looking back at my time at BGSU now, one of the things I most appreciate is that I felt very prepared to transition into my full-time, tenure-track position. Having served as a group leader (i.e., mentoring new graduate teaching assistants) while also teaching, taking classes, and serving as the graduate student representative on a committee helped to make it a smooth transition from being a graduate student to being someone teaching a 3-3-1 load while also having advising, research, and service expectations. And of course a major benefit was the faculty in the program and the courses they offered. Not only were they expert scholars, but they were also generous with their time and willingness to mentor and support graduate students.
BGSU's Rhetoric & Writing program challenged me to be a more purposeful researcher and to be a more thoughtful and reflective teacher. My experiences at BGSU have prepared me for a successful career in teaching post-secondary writing, and the Rhetoric & Writing faculty made me feel at home at BGSU and in rhetoric and composition. If I love it so much, why don't I marry it?
I have talked to many people about their graduate experiences and I have come to realize just how special and important my time at BG was. Not only did I get an great grounding in the classroom, but the research experience I received was second to none. It has shaped my career in ways I could never have imagined. Moreover, the support I received from the faculty gave me the confidence to be successful in my various roles at Morningside and beyond.