Name: Callista Buchen, Ph.D.
Title: Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing
Education: Ph.D. from University of Kansas; M.F.A. from Bowling Green State University; M.A. from University of Oregon
Years at Franklin College: One year
Campus and Community Involvement: The Apogee
How does the liberal arts and sciences education at Franklin benefit students in the fields of English and creative writing?
“The liberal arts and sciences education at Franklin benefits all students, regardless of field or career aspirations, by helping students develop into well-rounded citizens who are better prepared for our rapidly changing world. Education at Franklin is multi-dimensional and this multiplicity allows all of us to hone our creative problem-solving and collaboration skills while also becoming more astute and empathetic critical thinkers. For English and creative writing students, in particular, a liberal arts education creates not only a picture of literature and its role in the past but a sense of how literature and what literature can do matters today. The liberal arts encourage students to make meaningful connections across fields, like my students who are interested in poetry and biology with their assignments in the seemingly different fields overlapping, giving their learning a kind of 3-D effect.”
Is there anything that you think is particularly unique about teaching at Franklin as opposed to other schools?
“Professors at Franklin are deeply invested in teaching and in the student of the best pedagogical practices–and we, too, look to the opportunities afforded by a liberal arts education to provide the most meaningful and interconnected experiences for students. The commitment of the faculty to using engaged learning strategies means that we are all living what we are learning. Plus, students get a considerable amount of individualized instruction and mentorship from their faculty–education here is personalized.”
Where have your students been employed after graduation from Franklin and what are their responsibilities at these companies?
“As a new teacher to Franklin, I haven’t had the opportunity yet to see what my students will do, but I’m confident that they will do great things, equipped as they are with a wide range of transferable skills and the practice they have had applying such skills in different ways.”
What advice would you give to incoming freshmen to better prepare for college?
“I encourage incoming freshmen to consider their college experience as a process of discovery. So few of us know who we are and what we will do with the rest of our lives when we enter college. And that is okay! The liberal arts curriculum at Franklin College provides the necessary space for students to discover their passions and figure out what matters to them. So I say, experiment! Take lots of interesting classes! Look for ways to lean in to what matters to you!”
What are your career aspirations?
“At my very core, I’m a teacher and I love the work that Franklin College is doing. I’m also a working writer so I want to continue to write and publish.”
If you could teach a college course in any other department, what would it be and why?
“I think there is so much exciting work happening on campus. I love overhearing the conversations that students are having in their religion and philosophy courses and it would be great to facilitate some of those.”
What is something students would be surprised to learn about you?
“As much as I love reading and writing, and there is a lot of love there, I also enjoy cooking and baking–my specialty is risotto. I’m also a big lifelong theatre nerd and I may or may not rock out to musical soundtracks on road trips, or really any time I’m in a car.”
For more information about what a degree from Franklin College can do for you, contact the Office of Admissions at (800) 852-0232.