Please meet Dr. Dustin M. Knepp the Chair of Modern Languages
& Literatures department.
What is your field of study?
BA and MA in Spanish; Ph.D. concentration in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Cultural Studies.
What is your favorite class to teach?
My favorites would be either Acting in Spanish or Food in the Latino Experience. Both of these involve working in the community and provide students with opportunities not typically found in most classroom experiences.
What are you excited about this year?
There are many things to be excited about this year. I get to teach a new INST class on Ethnicity and Culture that will help in the growth of the program, I get to work with new faculty who are joining the Modern Languages and Literatures Department, and I get to return to the semester system which should be beneficial to our students. Above all, I am excited about new opportunities for collaboration with students, fellow faculty, and the community.
What was the last book you read?
My 4-year-old daughter wanted to read Mercer Mayer’s Just Me and My Dad. How could I refuse?
What was your worst subject in school?
It is hard to think of just one. As a slow reader, I always struggled with courses like literature or history. I now teach courses that include those elements, but I much prefer hands on learning. That is why I moved towards cultural anthropology. It allows me to work with people.
What is your secret talent?
I sing really well in the shower and enjoyed acting in my undergrad days. I also love to cook and make a pretty mean gumbo.
If you had to make a documentary what would the subject be?
Food, motorcycles, or both!
What do you do for fun and relaxation?
Spend time with family (fun) and ride my motorcycle home from work (relaxation). With a wife and five kids, there isn’t much free time. It might not always be relaxing, but doing things with my family is my kind of fun. That ranges from building Legos, camping, or the best – playing in the snow.
Do you have any advice or thoughts for our students?
Here are the two pieces of advice I give to all students: go to class and don’t be stupid. The first is rather straight forward and can have some obvious positive outcomes: you will get to know your professor (and vice versa), automatically learn more about the course topic, build relationships with classmates, and likely get better grades. The second does not just apply to your time in school. In life we all have challenges and choices. How we respond to those will impact our present and future. It is imperative that we think about the consequences of our actions and be conscious about our decisions. Take time and think before you act, or in other words, be wise.
What did you do over your summer break?
Traveled to visit extended family in Texas and went camping for a week with a bunch of Boy Scouts… I am still planning my vacation.
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