|A DAY IN THE LIFE...||STUDY ABROAD||EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING||HONORS FACULTY||NEWS||PHOTOS|
Ph.D, Ohio State University, 1992
One of the things Dr. Rider
likes best about ISU is that it allows both students and professors
flexibility to explore many interests. Her broad interests include
Twentieth-Century German literature and culture, East German literature
and culture, and Women's Studies as well as a more specific research
interest in the Holocaust.
“I really understand myself to be an interdisciplinary intellectual.” - Dr. Rider
Dr. Rider’s interest in East Germany helped her attain a Fulbright Fellowship to study there in 1985.
As a professor at ISU, Dr. Rider was approached by Dr. Jennerman, the Honors director at the time, who asked her to teach a class on the Holocaust. Despite teaching in a department that required much of her time, she decided to teach the class as an overload.
In 2003, during one semester in which Dr. Rider taught her course on the Holocaust, the Candles Museum in Terre Haute was fire-bombed. Dr. Rider’s class and many community supporters came together to renew hope for the museum, which was established to remember child victims of the Holocaust. She remembers, “We came together in a visual and physical display of solidarity. I was so happy to see that people cared.”
Dr. Rider enjoys teaching
Honors classes because she can truly get to know the students and watch
them grow. From the development of their classroom behavior to the
transformation in their essays, she can tell that Honors students adapt
well and appreciate the material they are learning.
She prefers to teach her classes with a very intellectual approach. When students are asked poignant questions, they may have to grapple with them to find answers, or they may find that there is no answer. It is in this environment that students genuinely learn.
ADVICE TO HONORS STUDENTS
In regards to Honors students, Dr. Rider would like to encourage students to leave behind the mentality they adopted in high school. High school students are frequently obsessed with grades; they are used to being good at everything. Dr. Rider hopes that all Honors students take the chance to challenge themselves, stay interested in the material and realize that there are some questions that are worth grappling with.
In addition, she wants Honors students to, “Read more!” and be bold enough to talk about important issues. She says, “As an instructor, I came to know that when students learn to think critically, it can be very dangerous.” Dr. Rider knows firsthand that students can become outsiders to their families or other traditional groups, and she believes the Honors program and Honors faculty are a safety net for these students who are taking those necessary steps to becoming a true individual.