Lois Roma-Deeley - Student Introduction

Remarks by Carolyn Szatkowski
Former student of Lois Roma-Deeley
2012 Outstanding Community Colleges Professor of the Year

When preparing to write this introduction for Dr. Lois Roma-Deeley, I decided to let her own words speak for me as they represent the essence of her teaching philosophy. I will begin by quoting from Dr. Roma-Deeley's blog, Ciao Poetry.

"I define 'nobility' as the practical application of striving toward something better—a better life, a better culture, a better self, a better sense of what it means to be human. The idea that, yes, things are not good, not ideal, not 'as they should be' but, given all that, we must try. We must endure and then endeavor to march toward our better natures."

Dr. Lois Roma-Deeley is a working writer, published poet, educator, editor, scholar, leader, poet-in-residence and mentor to many—colleagues as well as students. In addition to teaching us creative writing in varied genres, she shows us the way to use our writing to explore history, culture, science, other art forms and, most importantly, our own lives.

For many students, community college provides a strong liberal arts foundation from which to define and pursue their academic goals. For others, like me, the community college provides life-long learning in a supportive academic setting. I have been taking creative writing classes from Dr. Roma-Deeley for the past eight years. Her guidance and encouragement have sent me on a writing journey in which poetry has become my chosen genre.

The following are comments from former students and a colleague:

"Dr. Roma-Deeley's belief in my capacity to succeed is the main factor that pushed me to finish my undergraduate coursework and seek advanced degrees." (former student)

"Over time, I came to understand that Dr. Roma-Deeley wanted us to examine who we were and what we wanted to become, to move from coping to creating." (former student)

"Dr. Roma-Deeley's scholarship is impeccable, and her approach to presenting material to students reaches widely across areas of knowledge with an approach to presenting that emphasizes understanding of the humanities and of how various disciplines interrelate." (visual artist colleague)

It is with great honor I now invite you to join me in welcoming the 2012 U.S. Community College Professor of the Year, Dr. Lois Roma-Deeley.