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Professor 's Profile on Associate Professor - English - Southern Utah University

Todd Petersen

Associate Professor

Alma Maters: BA U of Oregon, MA Northern Arizona U, PHD Oklahoma State U
Classes Taught: ENGL 2020, ENGL 3030, ENGL 4020, ENGL 2010
Countries Traveled To: Mexico, Qatar, Canada
Companies Worked For: YMCA of Greater Seattle, Northern Arizona U, Oklahoma State U, Southern Utah U
What is your style of teaching?
My primary focus is on student autonomy. Students will eventually operate outside of the classroom. This means that over the course of a semester I withdraw.
What materials and media do you use in the classroom?
In the classroom I try to teach without technology, usually just a white board. Outside the classroom my materials and workflow are 100% digital.
What is the most engaging assignment you give?
I don't try to engage students. It's like making people love you. I try to engage myself, though, and I like the one where they generate a story idea per week.
When grading a student, what do you look for?
Curiosity, risk, dedication, thoughtfulness. It's easy to tell when someone's calling it in. It's also easy to see when someone's only interested in grades.
What kind of student would love your class?
Someone who is kind of sick of school or who never really understood formal education. Achievers get upset in my classes. It's about personal growth not grades.
What is one piece of advice you have for students?
Don't hold back. Take risks. I know mediocrity is usually rewarded, but it's usually with mediocre rewards. Failure is a crucial part of the process.
What area in your field are you most knowledgeable about?
Fiction writing, film, visual narrative, creative process. Also, I don't believe in fields.
What is one accomplishment you are proud of?
Maybe it's cheesy, but my kids are really cool.
Are you currently involved in something interesting outside the classroom?
I am the director of an experiential education program the focuses on creativity and innovation. I also take college students to National Parks.
Is there anything else the student should know before taking your class?
My students have said that I am "sadistic, but in a kind hearted way." That's probably the best way to put it.

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