BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College’s Faculty Friday series was launched in an effort to connect current and prospective students, staff, and alumni with our distinguished faculty members, who are actively involved in the betterment of our students and institution, both inside and outside of the classroom.

We would like to introduce our seventh spotlight- Associate Professor of English Heather Taylor. To get to know Taylor better, read her Q&A below


Q: What additional positions or involvement do you have at Bethany or outside of Bethany?

A: Director of the Bethany first-year experience and director of writing across the curriculum.


Q: Do you have any children?

A: I don’t have children of my own, but the little girl I babysit, Bella, is often seen on campus and loves to cheer at sporting events as well as check out the arts.


Q: What is your education background?

A: BA in English from Bethany College 2005, MA in creative writing fiction from Wilkes University 2013, and MFA in creative writing: publishing from Wilkes University 2014


Q: Why should prospective students pursue a degree in English?

A: People often think of English as just a lot of dusty old books, but it’s really about critical thinking and history and human nature. It’s about putting stories together and tearing them apart. It’s a way of learning about each other and ourselves and figuring out that we are not as alone as we sometimes feel. A major in English is also more than becoming professor or writer. Folx who major in English can go on to graduate school in any number of fields including law school.


Q: Everyone has a reason for doing what they love. Many times, this is referred to as your “why”- some people say their “why” was a calling from childhood, while others say their “why” is for fulfilling a greater life purpose. What is your “why” for being a part of Bethany College’s faculty?

A: I think some part of me always knew I wanted to teach, but it took me a little while to formally realize I wanted to make it my profession. I knew from my first day observing in the classroom that I had found what it was I’m meant to do.

Why Bethany? I’m an alum and when I think back to my first days here, I am reminded of the people who rallied around me and helped me to realize that I could be successful here. I think about Annette Krappa who worked in IT at the time who saw me struggling and offered me a hug and a cold bottle of water and a chat. I think about Dr. Larry Grimes who went out of his way to make me feel welcome in the major. These are just two examples of the community who rallied around me and helped me to get to graduation. As a first-gen college student, their care, concern, and support meant more to me that I can ever really express.

When I was offered a chance to come back, I leaped for it because I wanted to pay forward the help I’d gotten. This place changed my life as a student and this job and these students continue to change me and challenge me to be a better person and teacher. I am truly lucky to get to do the work I do with this group of people.


Q: If you had only one word to represent Bethany College and what the College means to you, what would that one word be?

A: Life-changing