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The distinctive character of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is defined by the faculty's demonstrated capability to fulfill the values of the Teacher Scholar Philosophy; a philosophy guided by a serious and continuing commitment to teaching, scholarship and service in the belief that scholarship complements and enriches excellence in teaching and service.

Adapted from the Teacher Scholar Philosophy of SIUE, Teacher Scholar Philosophy Working Group, 6/2/08

Geoff Schmidt

Associate Professor of English

Research Focus:
"As a fiction writer, my research emphasis is on literary short stories.  I’m currently completing a collection of stories entitled Down the Chimney, all of which explore notions of family and faith through the lens of Christmas cartoons."

Geoff Schmidt

Recent Honors / Awards / Recognition:

• Esquire has accepted a story for publication.  It will appear Sping/Summer 2008.

• Sabbatical awarded, Spring 2008.

• SRF awarded, Summer 2005

• Visiting Writer, Summer Writer’s Institute, Summer 2004

Primary Courses Taught:

Creative Writing, Fiction (ENG592, ENG492, ENG392)

American Literature (ENG441B, ENG430)

Popular Literature (ENG309: Graphic Novels)

Education:

B.A., Kenyon College

M.F.A., University of Alabama

How does SIUE support your professional growth or activity as a Teacher-Scholar?
"When I received word that I’d been nominated as a Teacher-Scholar, I was on sabbatical, at a conference, presenting a Pedagogy Paper on the art of teaching an experimental graduate-level fiction workshop.  That fact seems like a nice illustration of the support I receive from SIUE.  I’m able to have the gift of time and monetary support to explore the challenges and art of teaching in a way that I could not without the funding I receive from the University.   It’s also gratifying to work at an institution that recognizes that pedagogy – the scholarship of teaching -- is a deeply worthwhile activity."

What is a unique aspect of your professional life that enhances your service to the academic or greater community?
"Because I’m a writer, I have a unique opportunity to provide services to the academic or greater community by giving fiction readings and leading informal workshops on writing and the writing life.  I frequently read at community colleges in the area.  This Spring I’ll lead workshops at the Edwardsville Public Library on publication.  The most gratifying writing experience of my career happened this Fall, when Professor Rambsy asked me to write a section of his 'Journey to SIUE' publication."

How has one mentor or event shaped your career decision to become a university professor?
"For a while, I floundered in my graduate classes, writing a kind of safe, “realist” fiction.  Then I had a workshop with Professor Sandy Huss, who challenged me to take chances, to take huge risks.  I did, and unlocked something inside of myself that leaped onto the page and into the writing life.  And I realized then that I wanted to be that person who challenged students to unlock that leaping spirit inside themselves." 
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