Lindy Ledohowski (BEd 2000, MA 2003, PhD 2008) speaks to Sharon Aschaiek:
After I completed my master’s degree in English, Prof. Russell Brown told me U of T Scarborough was seeking an instructor for a new course on critical thinking about poetry. The course would launch the following academic year, when I would start my doctoral degree in English-Canadian literature – so I jumped at the opportunity.
The English department chair resisted the idea – she was skeptical that a first-year doctoral candidate could take courses, apply for grants and fellowships, prepare for exams and teach a course. She thought it would be setting me up to fail. Brown went to bat for me, confident I could handle it.
I got the job, and I ended up teaching that course eight times over three years. I also helped develop a course on critical writing about literature, and created two teaching manuals. In that first year at UTSC, I even won a teaching award.
It meant a lot having Brown – who would become my doctoral supervisor – and the English department chair look out for my best interests. Also, my pedagogical experience at UTSC heavily influenced the development of EssayJack, the web platform I co-created for helping students write better essays. As an entrepreneur, I have a strong sense of resilience, which I developed at U of T – I learned if I found myself in a demanding situation, I could rise to the challenge.