Education lives or dies by the strength of its teachers, and USAO’s warrant particular mention for their unflagging dedication to the interdisciplinary idealism that defines the university.
Chris Bennett’s career is just beginning. Two years after graduation from USAO, he is a graduate teaching assistant and is starting his third year of a master’s program at the University of Oklahoma.
As a TA, the English graduate develops lesson plans, teaches classes and provides feedback and evaluation on student essays at assignments — all while maintaining a full load of graduate level courses.
Bennett graduated from USAO in 2012 with an English degree and minored in French, theatre arts and the liberal arts.
“USAO’s emphasis on an interdisciplinary curriculum — one of its defining features and one that it is rightly proud of — has time and again encouraged me to reassess my own knowledge and seek to expand it well beyond the traditional boundaries of what we understand to be English,” Bennett said.
“Being aware of what’s happening in other fields always informs my own work and helps me better relate to a wide variety of students,” he added.
USAO’s IDS core curriculum is made possible by its qualified and passionate faculty, something Bennett said he appreciated about USAO.
“Education lives or dies by the strength of its teachers, and USAO’s warrant particular mention for their unflagging dedication to the interdisciplinary idealism that defines the university,” he said. “Not a single class I took was isolated from the others.”
While the holistic education was critical for Bennett, the memories created at the institution are another aspect of his college career that will live on forever.
“The four years I spent at USAO were easily some of the best of my life,” he said. “The memories I made — some heartwarming, some gut-wrenching, some hilarious and some incredibly awkward — will continue to influence the man I’m becoming for the rest of my life.”
Note: Bennett is pictured above with his twin sisters, Rachel and Laura, who are current USAO students.