Assistant Professor - English

"My job is part author, researcher and mentor. As a tenure-track professor in English, I publish actively in both peer-reviewed (e.g. journals) and non-peer reviewed forums. I recently published my first fiction book for young adults. As a researcher, I am currently studying the impact of liberal arts education on job-specific skill development in technical fields. Essentially, I ask the question, “what is the value of liberal arts for engineers and computer scientists?” I am a mentor to my students. I teach both entry-level and senior-level English courses and am rewarded by the transformation of students during their time at my university. My job is less about teaching and more about inspiring and supporting student success."

Salary Range:

$70,000 - $130,000

The Tip

Be focused, but always be prepared to pivot when the opportunity arises.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Advanced Research & Analysis Skills
  • Formulating research questions

  • Ability to critically analyze literature

  • Ability to develop and execute qualitative research

  • Ability to synthesize key themes from multiple sources

 

Contextual Knowledge
  • Knowledge of human behaviour

  • Understanding of context and values of audiences

  • Essential understanding of topics and themes as they relate to an audience

 

Advanced Communication Skills
  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Sensitivity to how communications is shaped by circumstances, authorship and intended audience

  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Apply written vocabulary to audience

Evidence-based Storytelling Skills
  • Ability to use research to develop an evidence-based story

  • Ability to generate story ideas

  • Ability to identify target audiences

  • Ability to create compelling narratives across media

 

Additional Skills
  • Excel in defined core transferable skills with a focus on thinking, communication, organizational and interpersonal skills

  • Expertise in specific area of research including the completion of a Ph.D. or equivalent

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Arts (English–Honours)

  • Master of Arts (English)

  • Ph.D. (English)

 

"I spent a full decade in university. There were lots of highs and lows, but a Ph.D. is about discipline, focus and commitment. There is a reason why only 50% of those who start their Ph.D. actually complete it."

Employment Experiences:
  • Was a tutor during my undergraduate degree

  • Had progressively senior editor roles in our school newspaper

  • Was a research assistant my final undergrad year for my honours supervisor

  • Worked for two summers as a communications coordinator for a non-profit agency

  • During my Master’s and Ph.D., I taught undergraduate courses and was a teaching assistant

  • Visiting professorship in New Zealand

  • Current role is a tenure-track assistant professor of English at a comprehensive university

 

"Being a university professor is highly competitive. Many faculty today are only part time or contract. I knew early on I wanted to be a university professor and focused my academic and professional mission on achieving this. It required demonstrating research, publishing and educational expertise. I needed to be flexible early in my career and ultimately it paid off with a coveted tenure-track appointment."

 

Community Experiences:
  • I am very active in my local literary society where I mentor and teach children and adults who aspire to be authors

 

"I teach regular workshops for a wide range of ages on all topics related to writing. This includes: how to start a novel, how to write an amazing scene and how to publish your book."

Contextual Experiences:
  • My mother is an English professor. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to follow in her footsteps.

  • During my undergraduate degree, I published several literary works in newspapers and magazines. These included book and film reviews and original stories. I also co-authored a peer-reviewed study with my honours supervisor.

  • I did a 12-month visiting professorship in New Zealand, where I mentored as a senior scholar in my field

 

"Being a university professor is about synthesizing my experience as an author, researcher and educator to tell my professional story. Leveraging this flexibility to create unique worth makes me valuable to different audiences."

Relationships:
  • To succeed as a professor, your network is critical. My professional network includes educators, authors, publishers and former students.

 

"My network is very important to me. I lean on it every day for inspiration and offer the same to my connections. Being an author can sometimes be isolating, so having a community to support you through the inevitable writer’s block is essential."