Adjunct Profile: Natalie Zavodski


Adjunct Profile: Natalie Zavodski

Name: Natalie Zavodski

Department: English

What courses do you teach?

I am teaching ENGL 103 this semester. Last semester, I taught the Short Story class and loved it as well. My undergraduate degrees are in English, French, and Philosophy so I greatly enjoy teaching the art of rhetoric that is part and parcel of the 21st century English curriculum.

How long have you been teaching at Viterbo University?

Spring 2017 was my first semester.

What is something you do in the classroom that has proven effective?

As an online instructor, Discussion Board can be a wonderful way in which to form an effective collaborative learning community. The fine students of Viterbo University have remarkable and astute insights to share and diligently work to facilitate a productive educational environment for all.

What is something you do outside of the classroom (e.g. scholarly work, research, publication)?

I strive to uphold the highest of standards as a member of Viterbo's adjunct faculty. Quality scholarship, research, and faculty collaboration truly form the cornerstone of positive instruction across all disciplines.

What is something you do for fun (e.g. hobbies, interests beyond teaching)?

I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, watching a good movie, and the opportunity to travel. I have found that you don’t need to wander far from home to find enjoyable activities. Door County, the UP, the festivals in Milwaukee, the Twin Cities, and Chicago are all worthwhile and affordable trips for all. We have found that Amtrak is a fairly inexpensive way to travel. Washington, D.C., St. Louis, and North Dakota are just a few of the places we have visited. America is an amazing country with an amazing story to tell if only you look for it. Who knew that Sacagawea's son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, was baptized in St. Louis at the Basilica of St. Louis? The Norsk Hostfest in North Dakota is the largest Scandinavian festival in North America.

Though my surname betrays this, my maternal great-grandparents were born in Norway. My dad was born in the former Yugoslavia, the birthplace of Mother Teresa. I have been enchanted with Mother Teresa since I was a little girl and read her life story in the 4th grade. Her devotion, sense of purpose, and compelling ability to meet the needs of others mark her as a true embodiment of goodness.

I am working on developing these characteristics as I write this. I have found that trying to forgo my daily regimen of a few cups of good strong coffee, expensive dark chocolate, and a well-balanced glass of red wine is near impossible. I cannot imagine living without modern conveniences (air conditioning!). Hence, the reason I stand in awe of Mother Teresa. That is also the majesty of literature. Just like Mother Teresa, literature can inspire us to be our very best. It has an unspoken power to unite us all in times of need. I still recall the first time I came across Maya Angelou's emboldened poem, "And Still I Rise". Sitting in Mr. Hajewski's 11th grade English class, I felt immediately empowered by her glorious words. While I am no poet extraordinaire, I hope to instill a small portion of that same spirit in my students. 

P.S. The empty bookshelves in the enclosed photo highlight the fact that I am in the process of doing some late spring cleaning! I like to visit rare bookshops (Milwaukee has several) and am forever trying to organize my office. As a side note, my 15- year-old son refused to partake in the photo op. I am not sure where the time goes, but my ever-increasing gray hair is testament to how fast time flies!