What to Expect From Cairn Professors

When I was a high school senior, a conversation with a professor hugely influenced my decision to commit to Cairn. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go, but I knew it was really important to me that I’d be able to connect with my professors. I didn’t want to be in a classroom as one of 300 students or be lectured for an hour and fifteen minutes. I was interested in both dynamic discussions and authentic relationships within the classroom. 

Cairn faculty teaching graphic design studentAlthough COVID prevented me from visiting Cairn that spring, I was able to virtually meet with a professor. Not only was he willing to hop on a Zoom call with me (which was quite an exuberant conversation, I may add), but he also invited me to sit in on a class after the height of the pandemic. 

I came to Cairn as a declared English major, hoping that my English teachers would be just as engaging. I was not disappointed. Mrs. Gleason is chair of the humanities department, professor for two of my classes, and my course advisor. In the creative nonfiction writing class she teaches, I was blown away by her energy and passion for writing. I’ve never encountered a professor who is so down-to-earth, so real, and so willing to surprise her students with baked goods and packages of Popcorners.

Mrs. Gleason makes me laugh with her emphatic hand movements and light-hearted teasing about my sensitive eyes when the projector glares against the whiteboard. She provokes deep thinking about how Christians should interact with secular literary criticisms like Marxism and deconstructionism. She challenges my writing, covering type-written pages with penciled cursive critique. And she listens to my anxious rambling about decision-making in advisory meetings with patience and provides wise guidance. I know she cares for me holistically as a person with dreams, not just a student with a deadline.

If you’re wondering what Cairn professors are like, here’s what you need to know: You probably won’t connect with all of your professors in the way I just described. But I can promise you this: You’ll never be a nameless face (or even just a named face) in any of your classrooms. You will be known and cared for, and if you’re willing to pursue it, you can build deep, lasting relationships with professors who will care about and invest in you before and beyond graduation. 

Don’t believe me? Contact admissions and ask them to put you in touch with a student or professor willing to talk about what your experience at Cairn would look like.


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