This fall semester, the department of English and World Languages welcomed a new department chair. Dr. Justin Mando (he/him), who has been a professor for the department since 2016, has already made many positive improvements and ideas within his first month as chair. This week, the department would like to highlight Dr. Mando and provide an opportunity to get to know him beyond the classroom.
Dr. Mando received his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Vermont. He then received both his M.A. and Ph.D. in Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University. There are many different fields of study that he specializes in, including environmental rhetoric, rhetoric of place, discourse analysis, and composition studies. This semester, Dr. Mando is teaching a special version of the science writing course that is paired with Meteorology students taking climate dynamics. In connection with his interest in environmental rhetoric and science writing, his favorite book is Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard, a text that details the author’s exploration of life and nature.
Connecting with the theme of exploration, I asked Dr. Mando what it means to be an English and World Languages scholar. His response below highlights the importance of this field and why students need to have humanities courses. He states:
“I find this field meaningful for so many reasons, but what stands out to me the most right now is how we study and teach effective citizenship. For a democracy to thrive, we need citizens who are socially conscious, who can read and think critically, respectfully engage and challenge people’s ideas, and who are able to argue persuasively for the common good of all. We develop these skills by studying language, literature, and rhetoric.”
The department of English and World Languages is so excited to have Dr. Mando as our new chair, and cannot wait to see all the wonderful things he accomplishes within this new position!