Berkeley Today Stories
Faculty Spotlight: Professor Patricia “Pattie” Cowan, English, School of Liberal Arts
Having an outstanding, supportive group of faculty members, with relevant professional experience, is one of the benefits that students love most about Berkeley College. Through our Berkeley College Faculty Spotlight, current and prospective students will learn more about why professors like Pattie Cowan, enjoy teaching at Berkeley College each day.
How long have you been at Berkeley College and what courses do you currently teach?
I was with the Dover Business College before I started working at Berkeley. I started with Dover in 1997, then I transferred over to Berkeley during the merger. I teach English classes including Writing and Research; Writing Thru Literature; Advanced Writing; and then some fun courses like Creative Writing; Public Speaking; and my new creation, Monsters in the Media (I did actually make that one up, and it was pretty awesome!). I also teach the Honors students.
Talk about your teaching experience at the college and what you enjoy most? Any memorable moments?
I love having the students explore their creative sides. Some find it hard to believe that the rules of grammar are the same whether they are writing a research paper or writing creatively. A few semesters ago, a student in an evening class in Newark commented that she had learned more in that one particular night than she had in all of her high school English classes combined. This past semester, on the last day, after finishing their quizzes and presentations, an entire class stuck around long after they could have left, to wait for a student who was running an hour and a half late. When they support one another like that, it’s a really cool thing!
What is the most helpful advice you can give to current and prospective students?
Ask questions! Like, a lot of questions. Don't pretend that you know everything already. You are in school to learn!
Who has influenced you the most in life and why?
I have two very good friends who do a ton of volunteer and community work. I do try to keep up, but there is definitely so much more I can do.
How do you like to spend your free time? Any interesting hobbies?
I am a crazy cat lady, and I help to take care of feral cats in my neighborhood. I also have crafting addictions. Currently, I am knitting, but I have an attic full of previous passions like making jewelry, candles and soap. I golf in charity events, but I am very bad at it. I like the outfits and driving the golf cart.
If you can only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If I could eat only one thing for the rest of my life, I guess it would be cheese. Or chicken wings. Can I say cheese-covered chicken wings? Now I am hungry.
The views and/or opinions in this article are those of the individuals interviewed. The academic achievements and/or employment outcomes described in this article are specific to each individual, and are not a guarantee of similar results for past or current students. For up-to-date and detailed information, please visit berkeleycollege.edu, and view our catalogs at berkeleycollege.edu/publications.