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Dr. Tara Hembrough

Assistant Professor

"A classroom should be student-centered. In becoming part of a course's community of writers, you can help to facilitate a tolerant and supportive environment for discussing writing and the craft of writing."

Degrees held:

  • PhD in English - Oklahoma State University, 2010
  • MFA in Creative Writing - Texas State University, 2001
  • MA in English - Western Illinois University, 1998
  • BA in Journalism, Spanish - Evangel University, 1995

Career highlights:

  • Acted as the Writing Program Administrator for Southern Illinois University for 3 years
  • Engaged in community-based teaching initiatives involving the Boys and Girls Club and Project Upward Bound
  • Offered first-year composition cohort courses for student veterans and military-affiliated students

In which online degree program(s) do you teach?

M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction – English

Which classes do you teach online?

Nonfiction Writing (English 4203), Fiction Writing (English 4303), 20th and 21st Century Literature (English 4413), Modern World Literature (English 4233), Business and Professional Writing (English 3903)

What do you want your students to take away from your classes? What do you want them to learn?

  • Demonstrate an understanding of audience, purpose, content, and context in various forms of media, including written, verbal, and visual
  • Practice writing as a process of prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading
  • Think critically and creatively
  • Employ research as part of the writing process

What's the best advice that you could give your students?

You will never regret the time and money you have invested in your education, but you must be prepared for it.

As adults and professionals, you will be expected to take responsibility for your performance in a given class. You are responsible for keeping up with all of the information presented on Blackboard, completing readings and assignments before the class for which they are due, asking questions about aspects of assignments that you do not understand, knowing and adhering to all course and university policies, managing your time effectively, and saving documents regularly in multiple locations to minimize computer-related crises.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

What qualities make someone particularly successful in education?

A classroom should be student-centered. In becoming part of a course's community of writers, you can help to facilitate a tolerant and supportive environment for discussing writing and the craft of writing.

Successful students should also be committed to their education, responsible, persistent, ambitious, reflective, and flexible.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that educators face today?

I think the biggest challenge that educators in higher education face today is facing the lack of adequate funding for all college students.

Tell us something that your students might find interesting, something they may not know about you.

I grew up on a farm in Illinois where my family raised corn and soybeans. As a child, I spent a lot of time horseback riding. As an adult, I enjoy rock climbing and reading. I have a young daughter, who likes ballet, and a son, who likes drawing.

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