Written by: Deanna Thompson
I had the opportunity to speak with Hava Levitt-Phillips, an alumna of the department of English Language and Literature here at Eastern. (BA ’06/MA ’08) Below, she reflects on her time with the English department and how she has used that experience for continued growth as a full-time English/Writing instructor at Washtenaw Community College.
What brought you to Eastern?
When I was ready to transfer out of Washtenaw Community College (WCC), I knew I wanted to teach for a living, so EMU was the logical choice.
What was your major/program, and why did you pick it?
As an undergraduate, my major was English Language, Literature, and Writing, with a History minor and coursework in the College of Education. Stories and poems have been an essential part of my life since my childhood, so I was thrilled to discover that a person could spend her whole life reading, writing, and working to make meaning with other people, especially towards a better, more just world.
My MA is in English Literature, with cognate coursework in the Teaching of Writing. The two years I spent as a graduate student and Graduate Student Instructor were so full of dynamic challenges that pushed me to grow at every turn.
My faculty mentors were huge for me, but I would be remiss if I failed to point out how amazing my colleagues were, as well. My co-students and co-GAs (Graduate Assistants) were such smart, funny, dedicated people, with diverse life and work experiences. They challenged me, encouraged me, and kept me laughing, even when I was neurotically worrying about every aspect of a big paper. And of course, my students, who were very smart, brave, dear, and very, very tolerant of me.
How did your experience at Eastern shape your career path?
How did it not? WCC gave me a place to find my footing in the academic world, and Eastern gave me everything I needed to grow into myself as a teacher and a scholar. I was spoiled with brilliant, generous faculty mentors, pretty much at every turn. More than anything, though, my students at Eastern helped me figure out how to be a teacher on the ground, and to them, I am forever grateful.
Read the full article here.
Deanna Thompson is a graduate assistant in the department of English Language and Literature.