• Some Sentiments About 20 Years at Stevenson

    *** Last week I received an email from human resources about celebrating 20 years at Stevenson University. And I used to think the 13 years I spent at the Baltimore Orioles was a long time. When I taught my very first semester at Stevenson in January of 2000, I was pregnant with my son, Matthew, and was hired as an adjunct professor. Now, Matthew is a junior in college. When you look at it through that lens, a long time has passed. I moved into full-time teaching in 2008, when Stevenson changed its name from Villa Julie College to Stevenson University. Prior to my time at Stevenson, I began teaching…

  • Year 19 and the Spring Semester

    It’s hard to believe sometimes that 19 years have passed, but then I remember I have a freshman in college. I’ve been teaching at Stevenson University since 2000, when I was pregnant with my first child. I remember getting the job and being excited to be teaching at a four-year institution. I’d been teaching at well-respected community colleges in the area, and had loved my time with them. But teaching at Stevenson University (then Villa Julie College) was something I wanted to try. I had come to crossroads in my life. I had been teaching as an adjunct since 1993 and had left a full-time job in Baltimore at the…

  • My Experience of Teaching a Travel Writing Course

    I’ve been pretty fortunate to have the opportunity to teach a course called Special Topics in Travel Writing at Stevenson University, where I am a full-time professor. It’s one of my favorite courses to teach, and for years in another course I teach called Feature Writing, we cover travel writing as part of the curriculum. To be able to teach travel writing as a semester-long, intensive 400-level course is something I treasure. The students in my class are required to each pick a location relatively local to our region. Some explore cities or towns in Maryland, some in Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Washington, D.C. or any other destination that they…

  • 9 Schmoozing Techniques for Networking

    In the world of business communication, we do a lot of schmoozing. It’s not a bad word; it’s not taboo—it’s what we do. We have to know how to mingle with finesse. It’s the art of schmoozing, and I think Urban Dictionary defines it best as: Talk that is business oriented, designed to both provide and solicit personal information but avoids overt pitching. Most often an artifact of ‘networking.’ So there you have it. Now, how do you execute the schmooze like a pro? I’ve done enough schmoozing over the years to offer a few pointers, especially for recent graduates, soon-to-be graduates, or those coming back in the game or…

  • Friday Fodder | It’s Been a Good Week

    Honorable Mention Award | Readers’ Favorite 2015 Whenever something you’ve written garners a little recognition, it’s a good thing. Getting another nod from Readers’ Favorite made my week, as Baseball Girl was a project I worked on for three years. Seeing it earn an award in the category of Sports Fiction made me happy, too. Moreover, I’m blessed to have so many friends and family supporters who not only encourage me to write, but also share the news and are genuinely pleased for me. When you sweat over a project for as long as I did (and for some people even longer), when you pour your blood, sweat, and tears…

  • Proud of My Travel Writers

    * * * The semester is over, and now the students are taking final exams. I have completed teaching a Special Topics in Local Travel Writing course in our Business Communication department at Stevenson University, and I have one thing to say. I loved it. As any form of travel is wont to do, a true travel experience tends to have the ability to open our minds—and our hearts. My students were posed the task of traveling like a travel writer, spending two days in their selected place of choice, and then writing about it. I have to say, the topics were varied and interesting. Each student put his or…

  • Why Journaling Can Be Important

    * * * Yesterday, my colleague, Leeanne, was asking me questions about London and the places I enjoyed visiting during a trip my husband I took there many years ago. She and our department chair, Chip, are taking a group of our students on a Business Communication trip in January to London and the Cotswolds. Am I ever jealous! This is going to be something rather special, and I’m so excited that the students have an opportunity like this…to travel abroad…and to take in…some…culture. Culture. Arts. Literature. Museums. Historic landmarks & sights. It’s important to add a little variety to your life and open your mind to all that travel…

  • My Speech to Graduates: Stevenson University

    *** I had the great honor of being tonight’s faculty speaker at Stevenson University’s Baccalaureate ceremony, which is scheduled only a few days before graduation. I was selected by the senior class, and I can’t tell you how that made me feel warm and fuzzy. We gathered tonight in the Greenspring gym…it looked so beautiful in there. I was touched by the graduates sitting in the front row, and I tried my best to talk directly to them. Andy Gepert was the student speaker, and Ellen Roskes was the celebrant. To be completely honest, I’m on cloud nine. Despite having the jitters before I spoke (the waiting can get to…

  • Talking “Broccoli” at My First Book Talk & Signing

    To say I enjoyed every moment of my first book talk and signing last night would be an understatement. I am pretty certain I could make that a habit. It doesn’t get much better than that—talking about writing, reading, books, and broccoli while eating cannolis and biscotti and drinking a good cup of coffee amongst friends. My lovely colleagues in Business Communication at Stevenson University, Chip Rouse, Leeanne Bell, and Deric Greene, hosted my event (we missed our dear colleague Heather Harris who is on sabbatical). I got choked up listening to the kind words Chip said as she introduced me. It was incredibly heartwarming. And then, when I got…