English Department Welcomes New Professor

by Tristanne Gallardo, Staff Writer

Dr. Merrilyne Lundahl writes on the board during her young adult literature class.

Since being hired at the end of Spring 2017, Merrilyne Lundahl has taken on teaching a young adult literature class at both the undergraduate and graduate levels while also becoming a part of the Oregon Writing Project here in Jackson County.

Dr. Lundahl, originally from Utah, began her studies at Utah State where she majored in American Studies. She then went on to receive her Ph.D. in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Over the span of 12 years, Lundahl has taught in various school settings ranging from a residential setting, to multi-age schools, and at the university level. She has taught at both the University of Montana and University of Nevada, Reno before landing here at Southern Oregon University.

Why Southern Oregon Univerisity? Lundahl explained, “I’m in love with SOU. I like the smallness of the classrooms and that my colleagues really care about their students.” She continued, “I consider myself a westerner so SOU was a good fit.”

Lundahl discovered that her way of making the world a better place was becoming a teacher. She initially wanted to become a teacher because she had a passion for learning and was always curious.

Her passion for teaching is identifiable by both students and colleagues. Ashley Berry, a current student in Lundahl’s class, stated, “I like her so far. She expects a lot but in conducive way.”

Another student David Daniels had a different view. “You can tell that she is new to the school,” he said. “She brings a new age style of teaching that I actually find kind of boring.”

Colleagues such as Edwin Battistella are interested to see what she brings to SOU. Dr. Battistella said, “I’m excited to see her work with Young Adult literature and outdoor literature, which both seem to grasp student’s attention.”

To continue her teaching, Lundahl stated, “I look forward to reteaching this class (Young Adult Literature) because it’s like I get a second chance.” She also mentioned, “I hope in the future to teach early American nature literature as well as more pedagogy classes.”

 

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