Professor Spotlight: Dr. Andrea Coldwell Cabus
Dr. Cabus holds a bachelor’s degree in English and History from Otterbein University as well as a Ph.D. in English Literature from Temple University. She has been teaching at Coker for four years and currently teaches Honors British Literature Survey and Honors Composition.
Q: What qualities do you look for in honors students?
A: “More engagement and a willingness to have a debate on subject matter, rather than waiting for someone to just say what it means. I expect them to engage in that search for meaning—to engage in that discussion about why something might be significant and why it might be interesting.”
Q: What makes honors courses different from other courses?
A: “The students work on a research paper. They start to dig a little deeper into one of the concepts or one of the authors or works that we’re dealing with, trying to think a little broader than they would do in short papers.”
Q: What do students gain by taking your honors courses?
A: “I hope that it encourages them to think independently about the subject matter and specific works. Even though you might be a biology major or an education major you can approach this material both through an English lens and you can use the knowledge that you already have. You might, in fact, come up with something that I have never thought of.”
Q: What do you enjoy about teaching honors courses?
A: “I like having more people in the class who are willing to say something. It can be really easy, particularly for non-English people in an English class, to be very quiet. Honors students tend not to be; they tend to put something out there, and that means that we all have a better experience because we have much better discussions.”
Q: How do you think the Honors Program enriches the academic experience at Coker?
A: “Hopefully what the Honors Program will do is: A) bring in even more really good students, and B) help them set new bars for each other. It will help our best students, whether they are in the Honors Program or not, to challenge each other rather than compete with each other. This will make for a better educational experience for those that are challenged, and it will also hopefully raise the level of conversation across the board, even for students who aren’t involved in the Honors Program.”
Q: What do you think makes Coker unique inside and outside of the classroom?
A: “I like the idea that this is meant to be a place where everyone should have a voice. I like that it is a small enough place that we can know one another. I think that’s a real strength both for being able to teach students and for students being able to learn and engage with faculty. We can know each other and we can ask each other questions that we might not if we weren’t running into each other at campus events, basketball games, or just while walking across the lawn.”
For more information, contact Laura Hoxworth - 843.857.4103