director of writing
“I feel deeply fulfilled at STAC. My work feels meaningful.”
Sometimes the right opportunity comes along at the right moment. Fate intervenes. The stars align…and other clichés that are only clichés because they’re true.
After several years of managing a long-distance relationship, Dr. Staci Shultz and her husband (a computer scientist and business owner) decided to close the gap. Dr. Shultz relocated to nearby Tappan from Georgia, where she had been teaching at a women’s college.
“I knew of STAC because I would spend my summers with my husband in Tappan and drive past the campus all the time,” Dr. Shultz says. “When I moved here and was looking for jobs, lo and behold, STAC’s English department posted a position for an Americanist and someone with experience directing a writing program. This was the ideal job for me.”
In the fall of 2012, Dr. Shultz began teaching writing and literature courses at STAC. In her second year, she took over the Writing Program. These days she teaches a number of courses, including English 200: Argument and Evidence; English 203: American Autobiography; English 346: Gender and Literature; and English 332: American Literature to 1900.
“It wasn’t just that STAC was the ‘college down the street,’” Dr. Shultz says. “It was my dream job. I could teach writing and literature and also do the administrative work I’ve always loved. I’m grateful every day to do work that is meaningful.”
She says her favorite part of her job is getting to know her students as scholars and as people. Just last semester, Dr. Shultz invited a class to her home to watch Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” recalling how meaningful it was when her own undergraduate professors would invite students to their homes. Her office hours are always full as students stop in to chat about their classes and their lives or grab a snack from her snack box.
“At STAC, students and instructors can establish these lovely relationships. We cultivate ongoing relationships over the course of their four years here and watch them grow,” Dr. Shultz says. “It’s very special.”
Dr. Shultz also connects to her students by mentoring them on independent research projects and poster presentations, which gives students the opportunity to conduct their own research and present it.
“Sometimes parents are concerned about the availability of jobs for English students. At STAC, we are constantly sending our majors information about internships and job opportunities and encouraging them to present their work so that when they graduate they have a strong resume,” Dr. Shultz says. “The critical thinking and communication skills English majors learn are applicable in every industry.”
When she’s not teaching, Dr. Shultz serves as co-advisor for the campus Gender Sexuality Alliance and co-advisor of Sigma Tau Delta. She is also the co-editor of a new book series for the Peter Lang Publishing Group, entitled Writing in the 21st Century: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Instruction, Practice, and Theory, and is working on a research project that examines how fan fiction writers are responding to both the novel and the series The Handmaid’s Tale.
In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading contemporary fiction, practicing yoga, and keeping up with all things pop culture.