Dr. Kristin Van Tassel
Associate Professor of English
Getting to know you…
What is your family like?
I have a husband and two sons, all of whom are artistic, musical, and outdoorsy. We have some animals – goats, a donkey, rabbits, pigs – and we heat our home with wood, so our daily lives include chores. But we also love to read together as a family. We’re reading Lord of the Rings for the third time.
What is your favorite hobby?
Reading, writing, listening to music, & camping
What is your favorite sport or television show to watch?
Swimming or Track & Field during the Olympics
Do you have a special talent?
Being firm in a nice way
Getting to know your program…
What is your academic area?
Writing and American literature
What is your favorite course to teach?
The quality of a course depends a great deal on what the students bring to it – every course has been my favorite at some point.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Watching students develop as thinkers and writers – getting to know students as complex individuals who have much to share and teach.
If you could describe your teaching style in one word, what would it be?
What three things would you want all students to know or do?
Be genuinely curious, be willing to take intellectual risks, be open to the possibility that learning might change them.
What makes your academic area important?
Given the enormous volume of information to which we have access every day, critical reading and effective writing skills are more important than ever. We live in a noisy time and place where we must assess information both thoughtfully and efficiently and where good writing must compete among many “voices.” But storytelling also remains a vital form of sharing and learning about who we are and what it means to live well and right in this world.