Teaching, Writing, and Traveling
To LVC students, visiting the Administration Building/Humanities Center and climbing the stairs even just to the second floor, much less the third, is not exactly a thrilling prospect. But seeing Dr. Holly M. Wendt, assistant professor of English, never fails to make their days slightly better, no matter how exhausting those steps are.
Dr. Wendt, a medievalist and creative writer, is not just a professor whose area of expertise happens to be English, either. She truly practices what she preaches. “I don’t actually remember a time before I was excited about reading and writing,” said Dr. Wendt. “As a child, I devoured books, and though the types of books I was interested in shifted here and there, the love of reading never waned.
“I decided I wanted to be an English professor when I was 10 years old, and though I also wanted to be a paleontologist for a while, I’m delighted that 10-year-old me made a solid choice,” she said. “That’s the beauty of working in English studies—I can still read or write about dinosaurs if I want to.”
These days she isn’t writing about dinosaurs, but she is working on a novel about a professional hockey player and an essay on the 11th-century homilies of Archbishop Wulfstan of England.
Outside of her academic interests, Dr. Wendt loves sports and cooking. “I spent some of my summer evenings re-watching the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Stanley Cup run while making jam and grilling everything I could get my hands on,” she noted. “And, my partner and I sometimes plan vacations around the Philadelphia Phillies’ road schedule.”
When she’s not traveling or checking out the latest game, Dr. Wendt can be found inspiring her students, as she serves as an advisor for the campus Writers’ Group and directs the visiting writers series at the College.
“I think it’s very easy for students in English to dismiss their skills as commonplace, but reports out of the professional world—often citing a desperate need for sharp communicators and agile thinkers—demonstrate that such is not the case,” she said. “Value your skills and hone them constantly. And, of course, if you want to be a writer, you must write.”