By Jack Haller
Dr. Judith Irvine enjoys teaching the many unique courses offered at Reinhardt University.
Irvine first began her time at Reinhardt as an adjunct professor in 2012, becoming full-time faculty in 2016. As an assistant professor of English, Irvine has the ability to work with her students in many capacities, such as taking time to review and edit papers with her students in English 101.
One of the most influential lessons Irvine uses to help her students understand course material better is trusting their instincts while analyzing poetry. Irvine shows student how this skill is a part of their daily lives without them realizing it.
“So many students are afraid of poetry, but often they have good instincts for it if they’d just learn to trust their instincts,” said Irvine. “After all, they listen to lyrics, which are a kind of poetry.”
Irvine loves teaching British Literature and upper-level English classes in particular. Lately she has enjoyed teaching a new interdisciplinary class, History of the Book. One of the highlights of the course in her eyes is the hands-on experience of a field trip to the Bentley Rare Book Museum at Kennesaw State University. On the trip, students saw clay tablets with cuneiform writing, manuscripts predating printed books and an early volume of Shakespeare’s plays.
In addition to lectures and field trips, Irvine works to include a variety of hands-on experiences in her classroom.
“I teach that class as part artistic workshop and part lecture: we’ve made paper, done marbling, and students even created their own handmade books.”
When it comes to her own education, Irvine received both her master’s and doctorate in English Literature at Georgia State in 2005 and 2014. While receiving her education, she also served as an instructor as GSU for nine years.
While working toward her undergraduate degree at Kennesaw State, Irvine received many awards from her professors including the highest academic honor at the university; University Scholar. Along with other accolades of this caliber, including numerous ‘Student of the Year’ awards, her poems paved the path for her to participate in workshops with some of the best in the field.
When Irvine isn’t teaching, she prides herself as a lifelong learner and enjoys learning new things with her husband. They have recently picked up sketching and painting. They also love traveling to Paris where they always stay in a neighborhood near Luxembourg Garden. Here, she gets to let out her Canadian roots and practice her French.