This edition of “Who Makes Millersville Special” features Susan Livermore ’07, an instructor of English at Millersville.

Q. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
A. I am originally from New England and currently live in York, Pa.

Q. Do you have any children?
A. My husband and I have three daughters.

Q. I know you mentioned you have a farm. Tell us about that.
A. Two years ago my husband and his siblings inherited their parents’ 96-acre farm in north-central Pennsylvania. We don’t have any animals there now because we don’t live on the farm; however, we will plant crops in the spring. At this point, we go there for holidays and sporadic weekends. Our daughters—ok, me too!– love riding the ATV through the woods and fields. The farm provides us a nice respite from our busy schedules.

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Q. Where did you go to college? What was your major?
A.I did my undergraduate work at Bloomsburg State College; my major was secondary education: communications with emphasis in writing and literature. I earned my master’s in English here at Millersville.

Q. What did you do before you began teaching at Millersville?
A. Prior to teaching at Millersville, I taught at Bradley Academy for the Visual Arts (York, Pa.) and York Technical Institute.

Q. What classes do you teach here at Millersville?
A. I have had the privilege of teaching English Fundamentals of Writing, Composition, Business Writing online and face-to-face, Intro to Lit and Early English Lit. I also teach in Millersville’s AIM for Success program in the summer and fall.

Q. What do you enjoy about Millersville most?
A. Honestly, I enjoy everything about Millersville. My students are attentive, interesting and bright; my colleagues friendly and personable, and the staff always helpful, kind and generous with their wisdom, knowledge and time. Of course, the lovely campus is a bonus!

Q. Where else do you teach?
A. I also teach at HACC York Campus and online for Central Pennsylvania College.

Q. How do you prepare for your classes?
A. Class preparation is an interesting concept. It includes answering the daily consideration of how to handle each class hour as well as reading and writing on a broader level for personal and professional growth. When I engage in both activities, I become a more effective teacher.

Q. How do you want your students to remember you or your classes?
A. I hope my students leave my class with a love of learning and gain confidence in their ability to communicate. I hope they remember that all it takes to become a better writer is a little knowledge and a lot of tweaking and revising. I also hope they remember having fun and being challenged in my class.

Q. As a child, was it your dream to become a teacher?
A. I was blessed with two exceptional English teachers in grades 7 and 9. I knew then I wanted to become an English teacher. I wandered a bit once I got to college—I toyed with special education and speech pathology, but I finally returned to English and I am glad I did.

Q. What are your interests outside of English and work?
A. I enjoy traveling with my husband and daughters. I also enjoy cooking, entertaining, spending time at our farm and reading. I used to make baskets and quilts, but I work too much to do that now.

Q. Do you have a favorite quote?
A. “Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigor; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?” Jane Eyre on maintaining personal integrity in Jane Eyre.

Q. What is your favorite novel?
A. It is so hard to choose one favorite among so many. Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, her sister Anne’s Tenant of Wildfell Hall and E.M.Forster’s  A Room with a View and Howards End” and all of Madeleine L’Engle’s writing.

Q. Who is your favorite author?
A. I have several favorite authors including Charlotte and Anne Brontë, and Madeleine L’Engle and E.M. Forester. I don’t have a least favorite author, but I don’t read anything that scares me; my imagination is active enough—I don’t need Edgar Allen Poe or Stephen King setting it off! Oddly, a week before the earthquake in Haiti, I started reading Tracy Kidder’s biography of Dr. Paul Farmer, Mountains Beyond Mountains about Farmer’s work in Haiti. It is fascinating.

Q. If you could go anywhere on vacation where would it be?
A. My husband and I talk about that all the time. When our eldest daughter studied in Scotland, we traveled around the UK for a couple of weeks. We would love to go back, especially to Haworth, England, to the Brontë’s homestead, to Tillicoultry, Scotland, which is my family’s ancestral home, and to the Isle of Skye, which is absolutely beautiful.

Q. Give one interesting fact about yourself that most people do not know.
A. Similar to many MU students, I was the first person in my family to graduate from college.

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