Monday, May 7, 2018

Meet Our Faculty: Allison Fernley

Allison Fernley

Associate Professor
Humanities and Social Sciences

What she teaches:
Intro to Writing, Intro to Queer Studies, Intermediate Writing, Critical Intro to Literature, Intro to Critical Theory

Number of years teaching at SLCC:

Undergraduate degree:
University of Utah

University of Utah

Why working at SLCC matters:
We have the chance to make a difference for all kinds of different students in all kinds of ways, whether it be helping a desperate student in the Writing Center who doesn’t know how to approach a psychology paper or encouraging a student not to give up his/her/their dream to become a nurse because biology class is so difficult.  We often serve as the first higher ed contact for someone making a great change in their life or even in their family’s history and prospects.  That’s as close as it comes for me to a sacred trust.

Greatest professional challenge:
Learning how to work effectively with English Language Learners.  Expectations of grammar mastery and crystal-clear sentences block us from engaging students on the plane of their ideas and communicative abilities.  Mastery will come over time and with experience—as it does for anyone learning another language. 

Greatest professional accomplishment:
Joining Jonathan Stowers in his dream to offer one of the first queer studies courses at a community college level, providing a space for open discourse that had not previously existed to serve SLCC’s LGBT students and their allies.  Learning to work with students where they are “at”:  eschewing one-size-fits-all in favor of trying to help each student develop their writing abilities from where they start.

Advice for students or others:
Show up.  Understand that writing is revision.  Go to the Student Writing Center.  If you just keep coming to class and are willing to write and rewrite, you will succeed.

Future plans:
Live in the present. Seriously. In a meditative way.

I am married to Judy Rose who is a software engineer. We have three godchildren and a cat named Oscar.

Guitar, piano, opera, American musical theater.