Students, professors mingle at pastries event


Photo by: Christina Xan

Dr. Shawn Miller talks with students about the English department and career opportunities at Pastries with the Professors.

Anna Jackson, Staff Writer

FMU’s department of English sponsored its annual event, Pastries with the Professors, where students were able to meet faculty and learn about upcoming events and courses within the department.

Pastries with the Professors took place on Oct. 25 in the English faculty lounge.

The event served donuts, fruit, juice and coffee. All students were welcome to attend the event and get breakfast. While they ate, English professors were in the room getting to know the students. Students were also encouraged to use the event to speak to the faculty members about upcoming courses offered through English.

This event was planned by the Recruitment and Retention Committee of the English Department.

“The idea is to sort of get the word out about what our English department is doing, give students the chance to meet our English faculty and other English majors,” Marsha Taylor, professor of English and coordinator of the event, said. “The goal is to recruit English majors, and minors and if not that, then to at least get students interested in taking English courses as electives.”

Dr. Christopher Johnson, department chair of the English department, added that this event offered multiple opportunities to the students that took advantage of it.

“One reason you should come to this event is, well, it is fun,” Johnson said. “It’s a busy time in the semester and it’s nice to take a little bit of time off and talk to professors in a less formal setting. Mostly I would encourage students to come to this event because it gives them the chance to learn a little bit about the English major and our minors in ways that they may not otherwise really have a chance to recognize.”

Johnson said students attending Pastries with the Professors could also take the time to learn about career options with an English degree, the courses that will be taught the following semester and programs, such as the professional writing and teacher certification programs.

Students who attended the event said this event showed students how friendly and inviting the English faculty are to their students.

“I think it is an amazing opportunity, and the English faculty is so invested in their current students and future students that they provide food and coffee to make the experience all the more enjoyable,” Natalie Hilley, junior secondary English education major, said.

“It gives people the chance to get to know English professors on a not so serious level and that English isn’t always so stiff or structured in an intimidating way,” Jenna Kight, senior secondary English education major, said.

In addition to the food served at Pastries with the Professors, there were activities for students to participate in. There was a matching game, where students guessed what descriptions matched which English faculty member. This gave students a chance to learn more about their professors outside of the classroom and some of their interests. There was a poster where students and professors wrote the titles of books that made them cry, books they wished they had written and books they detest. There was another poster where students and professors shared what author or character they would want to party with, date or punch in the face. Each of the activities were meant to create a bridge between the students and the professors.

Pastries with the Professors also served as an advertisement for the Pee Dee Fiction and Poetry Festival. There were several posters spread throughout the room to inform students about the event.