A Passion for Teaching
From college student to college instructor, Alexander Eikenberg has set the bar high for himself.
“I want to teach English in the college setting,” says Eikenberg, whose love of language led him to the M.S. in Professional Writing program.
He received an exception to fulfill his internship requirement as a teaching assistant to align with his teaching goal. He was assigned to an upper-level English course for non-majors. “It was wonderful to be part of the classroom conversation and engage with students on content I had not discussed in years.”
“When I was an undergraduate, I took a course on Shakespearean tragedy, and I am not a big Shakespeare fan,” recalls Eikenberg. Still, he enjoyed the class. “My professor came to work every day so excited, and I was awestruck and inspired by her enthusiasm. She role modeled a career I had not considered.”
Of all writing genres, Eikenberg favors poetry. “It is the type of writing that captures me most,” he explains. “Poetry is most reflective of what emotions and thoughts are before they get filtered and recomposed.”
Associate professor of English Jeannie Vanasco’s support and advocacy of Eikenberg as a student and a writer has been both empowering and humbling, and she has opened doors for her students. “She has organized several virtual meetings with published authors to engage them in discussions about the writing life and concerns for fledgling writers,” he explains. “Connecting with people who are successful at what I aspire to do is among the most important experiences of my education.”