Professor Shout-Out! Meet Dr. Kim Middleton

This post introduces our newest Saint Rose blog series, “Professor Shout-Out!” Faculty at The College of Saint Rose answer a basic set of questions to give you greater insight about who they are, what they do at Saint Rose, and most importantly, which super power they wish they had.

Dr. Kim Middleton, English Department, Associate Professor and Chair. Has been at Saint Rose since 2003.

We’re going to bet you didn’t know that Dr. Kim Middleton once worked for a national ice cream brand and wanted to be a journalist. Learn more about Dr. Middleton…

About:

  • Where did you attend school? As an undergrad, I was enrolled at the University of Redlands, in Southern California.  I had the great good fortune to get my degree from a small alternative educational program

    Saint Rose English Department Chair and Professor, Dr. Kim Middleton

    called The Johnston Center for Integrative Education, where students design their own majors and receive narrative evaluations rather than grades.  So my undergraduate transcript is about 100 pages long, and doesn’t feature a GPA.  My graduate education was much more typical: I attended the University of Notre Dame for my MA and PhD, and studied English with a concentration in literature and philosophy.

  • Where have you been employed? My first job, after graduating from college, was for a national ice cream brand, answering letters in their customer service branch.  That was a hoot—people find (or think that they find) some crazy things in their ice cream, and they’d send it to us in Ziploc bags.  In my academic life, I worked at Washington College, in Maryland, and then at Saint Rose.
  • Did you always want to teach?  Nope.  As a kid I wanted to be a journalist.  In college, my original major was music, focusing on vocal performance.  Those options, and anything else that I came up with, seemed very static and narrow, in the end.  I think that if you’re doing it right, teaching is different every day, and with every student.  It’s collaborative and challenging and never quite what you expect, so I’ve rarely regretted choosing it.
  • What classes do you teach at Saint Rose?  I teach an array of topics, which keeps me interested and on my toes: courses in contemporary American literature and popular culture, film and new media courses, classes on the novel and literary theory.  In the spring, I’ll be teaching a course on “Narratives in the Digital Age” which will look at the stories in novels, films, and video games.
  • Highlight of academic career, thus far: Last year I was asked to submit an article for a special issue of a journal, focusing on remix video.  The journal is run by super-smart scholars who believe in open access (meaning that people don’t have to pay to get the content of the journal).  So I was thrilled to be asked to contribute to ongoing research in this field, and really happy to participate in scholarship that is invested in the free exchange of ideas.
Fun Facts:
  • Favorite color?  Orange (this might be because it’s winter and gray outside).
  • Where’s your favorite place to eat in the Capital Region? The New World Bistro is hard to beat for originality and unexpected combinations; a bowl of pho at Van’s Vietnamese is easier on the wallet and always satisfying.
  • Favorite TV show? This is like asking people which of their children is their favorite.  My favorite right now?  Or of all time?  HBO’s The Wire was some of the most gripping television I ever saw; I could watch that over and over again, along with the Battlestar Galactica reboot.  I love Parks and Recreation for its sheer absurdity.  I’m anxiously awaiting the third season of Justified.
  • What is the last book you read?  Zoe Heller’s The Believers, a novel about a family whose members are all struggling with their belief in each other, in themselves, and in religion. Not one of them is a likeable character, but the book is pretty fascinating.  (Thank you for not asking what my favorite book is.  My head might have exploded.)
  • If you could have one superpower, what would you choose? Teleportation.  Lunch at the Grand Canyon and back in time for class.

Dr. Middleton helps organize and contribute to the Saint Rose English Blog. Please comment here if you have any questions for Dr. Middleton. Thanks for reading!

Hear Dr. Middleton yourself on WAMC’s Academic Minute on YouTube and video remixes- click here to listen.

 

  4 comments for “Professor Shout-Out! Meet Dr. Kim Middleton

  1. January 12, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Dr. Kim,

    Thank you for being a part of St. Rose’s blog. I’d be interested in your thoughts on how colleges can take advantage of technology to better education?

  2. January 12, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Thanks for the question, Doug, it’s one of my favorites!! Without writing a treatise here, I’d say that the intersection of higher education and technology is one that is incredibly complicated. In my own teaching and research, I’m most interested in the ways that students can learn (and can teach me!) how technological platforms can be used consciously and critically. For example, it’s clear some technologies encourage collective intelligence—a skill that we know is going to be crucial in the 21st century—and thus bringing those technologies into the classroom (or moving students and teachers out of the classroom via these technologies) allows education to be relevant and deeply tied to the ways of being that we’ll all need in the Digital Age.

    • January 12, 2012 at 9:54 PM

      Thank you for your response.

      I agree that technology today allows students to collaborate in ways that we’ve never seen before. I see this wonderful balance with students bringing collaborative technology into the classroom and professors using their own experiences to lead their students so that they can take full advantage of technology.

      More and more social platforms are pushing communities together and encouraging collaborative content (i.e. Google+).

      Doug

What do you think?