Lisa Neilson

Lisa Neilson is an English professor who has been at Marist since 2007. She teaches Writing for College, Introduction to Literature, Literature & Gender, and First Year Seminar classes. 

Why do you tend to teach first and second-year classes?
I love teaching to freshmen because you really see the growth in them from the beginning to the end of the semester. They’re so green and you go through so many of their first experiences with them. 

How do you make your freshmen comfortable in your classes?
We spend a lot of time getting to know each other with icebreakers. I like to reinforce that the class setting is a safe space to express ideas. All points of view are welcome and it is a safe environment where everyone should feel comfortable. 

For your juniors and seniors, how do you apply your lessons to the real world?
I have them do group work because they will definitely be doing that in the work world. I like to have assignments that simulate the work world, such as collaborations, presentations, and discussions that utilize critical thinking, because employers tend to complain that college students can’t do any of those things properly. 

Why did you choose to teach at Marist?
I have a personal connection to Marist. I was born and raised in the Hudson Valley, and I knew of Marist’s reputation. I applied to teach writing classes because I knew the integrity of a professor that worked there and because of the fact that it is a liberal arts college. I’m a huge proponent of liberal arts- every college student needs a liberal arts base. And how can I forget to mention the view of the Hudson River?

What makes Marist such a great place to work at?
It’s a liberal arts school, for one. It offers so many programs- from communications to fashion to political science, and more. Students can dabble in different fields. Also, my colleagues are awesome. They all work towards that goal of a liberal arts base. Liberal arts have gone through a rough time with getting criticism because of the job market. What many people do not realize is that it is the basis of anyone’s education. 

Why should someone major in English?
You should major in English because it helps to develop skills used in everything- writing, reading, critical thinking, communications. There are so many jobs that English majors undertake because it is part of their core. They can use the English major towards graduate programs and even medical school programs. It is the basis of education. 

What’s something about you that you want an incoming freshman to know?
Well, for one thing, I’m a huge New York Mets fan! I was also the valedictorian of my graduating class at Coleman High School in Kingston, New York. 


Written by Adriana Belmonte '17

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Profile Tags:

Profile Type: Faculty
Academic School: Liberal Arts
Campus: New York