English (secondary education, creative writing) alumna, Mary Hoffman, is headed to Dayton, Ohio, to pursue her passion for teaching and learning. Hoffman was accepted to the University of Dayton’s Lalanne Program, a two-year graduate program with a tuition-free master’s degree, accompanied with two years of teaching in an urban Catholic school.
Over the next two years, Hoffman will teach sixth and seventh-grade students and engage in research.
“I am excited to continue my passion for research by conducting a two-part action research for my graduate degree,” said Hoffman, whose research will examine the effects of daily writing on seventh-grade classroom reading levels. “The research will be part of my teaching experience, so I can apply what I am learning in my courses directly toward my career.”
The support that Hoffman received from the faculty in Waynesburg’s Department of English and Foreign Languages and Department of Education encouraged her career choice in education and research.
“My professors were encouraging and supportive at Waynesburg and always had my best interest at heart,” she said. “I’m confident that Waynesburg has fully prepared me for both my first year of teaching and the coursework at University of Dayton.”
Additionally, Hoffman worked at the Writing Center and helped both undergraduate and graduate students with their papers; this where she learned the best practices to teach writing to others. Jill Moyer Sunday, director of the Writing Center, helped further Hoffman’s interest in research by encouraging her to present at the International Writing Centers Association Conference.
Stepping out of her comfort zone, Hoffman was a copy editor for the student-run newspaper, The Yellow Jacket, for one year, which exposed her to a different style of writing. She was also a member of the orientation board as an orientation leader, the senior class gift committee and the Student Activities Board.
Waynesburg’s mission of faith, learning and serving had a profound impact on Hoffman during her time at the University.
“Waynesburg’s mission shaped my classroom experience, therefore, shaping my career, even as a graduate student,” she said. “The professors at Waynesburg incorporated faith, learning and serving into their everyday lives, something I hope to do for my students, as well."