As we come to a close this semester, we turn the spotlight to the new professors on campus. Here is what we have discovered about some of our new professors.
When Salem was in search of a new Creative Writing professor and Director for the Writing Center, Dr. Metta Sáma knew that it was a perfect fit for her. “Educating and providing opportunities for students and writers is very important to my life. If I am not fulfilled, I am underfed.” She currently devotes her energy to working to establish readings and finding speakers.
Attending Tennessee State University for 7 years, Metta Sáma was initially a political science and French major, and only switched to creative writing a semester prior to graduation. After attending one poetry class in college, she began writing everywhere she went. “I would be in a diner and I’d hear a conversation, snippets, and I’d take napkin and write on that. Or in a store, take a receipt, flip that over, and write on the back. I became a writer in college.”
Though she works diligently as the Writing Center Director, Metta Sama thoroughly enjoys teaching as well. “…teaching is fun. When I come here, I find great joy in the classrooms. There’s this energy and intensity. There’s laughter and fun. It’s different… to me and it feels good. It takes away the exhaustion. The classes are small enough so students can get to know each other and me…Everyone is here to be helpful.”
During her time in college, Blackwell had a “good time” serving her community. Starting out as a Biology major, Blackwell stumbled upon an advertisement regarding research on small children. Realizing she wanted to work with humans, Blackwell changed her major to psychology. Blackwell’s main Research deals with the development of executive functions in 6 year old children.
Searching for a liberal arts college near her family, Blackwell is enthused to be added as a new member of Salem College. Salem became a “dream job” for her.
Since being here at Salem, not only has Blackwell been inspirational to her students but has been inspired herself by the talent seen in her fellow professors and her students. During her an organ performance here at Salem, Blackwell was astonished by the talent held by professors learned to better connect to her student’s interest in music. She is “impressed with the students, the quality of the discussions” she has with them during class. Along with the immense support of from her colleagues here at Salem and stimulating conversation with her students, Blackwell has come to the decision that she would like to stay and teach here at Salem.
By Kristen Maikoo and Monique Ahmad