LU Fellows settle in

Brianna Stapleton

It’s hard to pick up your life, move to a new place, and start a new job – especially when that job is at a liberal arts university in a mid-sized metropolitan area in the middle of Wisconsin.
The new Lawrence Fellows have done exactly that: moved to Appleton and jumped into the experience by teaching classes this term.
Last spring, the Fellows were carefully selected from a large pool of applicants. The applicants usually have graduate-level degrees and are looking for teaching experience.
Lawrence takes several Fellows each year and places them in a department for a two-year stay. This year you can find five new Fellows teaching classes in economics, psychology, religious studies, anthropology, studio art and art history.
Valerie Zimany is a Fellow in the art department with extensive experience in Asian ceramic techniques. Leah Pillsbury is taking Zimany’s ceramics class this fall and feels confident that the class will teach her many new skills.
“In other ceramics classes I have taken we just make projects, glaze them, and it’s over. Professor Zimany has taught us how to make slip, how to make our own clay, and how the firing process works,” said the sophomore.
When asked if she noticed a difference between having a Fellow teach a class versus a professor who has been here longer, Pillsbury remarked, “You know, if you hadn’t told me that she was a Fellow I would never have known!”
Sophomore Aneesh Chauhan is taking Microeconomic Theory with Fellow Adam Galambos. Chauhan found that “there is a sense of curiosity among the student population – ‘Who is this new guy?'”
He said that the class is an enriching experience, although Chauhan felt that the new Fellows might feel that they need to prove themselves in their new environment, and as a result may give more homework than the average professor.
Josh Hart, a Fellow in the psychology department, is hopeful about the progress of his fall term class. “This is my first time teaching [Personality Psychology] so it’s a challenge, but it’s a great topic and I’m impressed with the students’ level of engagement,” said Hart.
Hart was also pleasantly surprised by the self-sense of Lawrentians. “Many of the students seem to have more of a grasp on who they are and what they want in comparison to what I remember of my peers in college, not to mention my recent students at UC-Davis.”
Hart is also enjoying his new home. “The Fox Valley is beautiful and most of the people here are exceptionally friendly and upbeat!”
However, Hart does have one complaint about the Appleton community. “There are no dogs allowed in the parks, even if your dog is on a leash. What kind of nonsense is that?”
He said that he looks forward to winter term and the opportunity to teach seminars, which will allow him to work with students on a more individual level.
Also new this year are Karen Park Koenig, a Fellow in religious studies, and Amy Speier, a Fellow in anthropology.
Each Fellow is only teaching one class fall term, but students should look forward to the more specialized classes the Fellows will offer in the future. Their unique expertise will add new dimensions to the Lawrence curriculum.