Dr. Anne Sheehan: A Well-Earned Retirement

In May 2011, Dr. Anne Sheehan will finish her twenty-six year career as an Associate Professor of English at The College of Saint Rose. Dr. Sheehan’s former and current students won’t be surprised that she says,” If I had to choose just one thing I will miss the most, it would have to be the classroom.  Words cannot do justice to the pleasure of teaching.” Her students recognize that she is a master teacher, often remarking that they see her as a model for their own student teaching. She has never lost her enthusiasm for them either: “Our students are so gracious and so energizing. I shall greatly miss my students and all those rewarding interactions with them.”

Anne’s first academic love (and the subject of her dissertation) is first-year composition, which she continues to teach enthusiastically this semester. She has also consistently taught Language and Linguistics with uncompromised attention to the challenging range of aspects involved in this course.  Students may find this course difficult, especially her tests, but they are very glad that they had it once they are in their own classrooms. Dr. Sheehan added the first course in Asian-American literature to our curriculum and she has a special love for Renaissance poetry (as a poet herself) and has taught many a student how to “unlock” sonnets and other poems. She also developed a Composition Theory course for graduate English students which gave many secondary school and adjunct college English instructors invaluable background in the theory and practice of teaching composition.

Anne has also been a very active and enthusiastic member of the English faculty, serving as Department Chair for two year, and notes, “During my happy, quarter-century plus years at Saint Rose, I have enjoyed working with my friends and colleagues in the English Department.” We have certainly benefited from her constant willingness to ask “How can I help” in relation to any task, event, department committee, or required course that needs to be taught in a given semester. Anne always goes out of her way to notice what needs to be done and offer assistance to both students and faculty.  She enjoys serving on college-wide committees, too, since that allowed her to get to know “so many wonderful folks across the College.” Her dedication to writing instruction led her to serve as chair of the Writing-across-the-Curriculum Committee and to facilitate the development and initiation of the writing-intensive requirement for all undergraduate students.  In fact, her devotion to writing instruction will continue after retirement, since she plans to volunteer “as a mentor to disadvantaged adolescents, particularly helping them with their writing.”

After retirement she plans to spend a lot of time with her twelve grandchildren and her husband, Bob (who retired from the Music Department several years ago). She also has “gardening, writing poetry, and reading high on my list—plus travel.  We will be enjoying a Rhine cruise in October.” For the first time in many years, she won’t be half way through the fall semester, but enjoying a very well earned retirement.

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