While employed at a publishing company, Karin Evans became fascinated with teaching writing.
"I worked as an editor in the adult education division, and our focus was GED preparation," she said. "During my time there, the GED Testing Service announced that an essay would be added to the Writing Skills Test. Everyone freaked out -- no one had thought about how to teach writing in GED classes.
"My editorial director was pretty visionary. She hired some very interesting consultants and we got busy figuring out how to develop materials and coach teachers who were used to the whole test being in a multiple-choice format. My favorite project was writing a teacher's guide. I became fascinated with all the new ideas about teaching writing and eventually decided to go to graduate school and study them for myself."
Evans used her skills to work at Sapient, a high-tech consulting firm, in a communications group.
"We supported teams that were writing reports and proposals. It was fast-paced, exciting work, pretty cutting-edge stuff -- I loved it," she said.
When the dot-com bubble burst, Evans was laid off. So she turned to teaching, which felt natural to her.
"I like the balance of teaching. The hours in the classroom are very social, but I also have time to work and think and write alone in my office," she said. "I also like the rhythm of the academic year -- all those fresh starts!! I need them as much as the students do.
"It doesn't hurt that I'm teaching something I enjoy doing myself and that I've already had a nice career to practice. My enthusiasm is very natural because of that. I also like students, and I am genuinely interested in knowing what their interests and concerns are. I think that helps us connect."
Evans is inspired by her students and faculty colleagues and believes amazing things happen in classrooms every day.
"I hope students build confidence in themselves -- as writers, as adults -- and discover a healthy respect for the value of persistence and effort."