New Faces: Professor Barrett Hathcock

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After flocking to the Sunshine State in the summer of 2000— just in time for the Florida recount— creative writing professor Barrett Hathcock has finally found his way back to Rhodes College. Professor Hathcock graduated from Rhodes in 2000; a creative major fresh from the heavy grind of school work, he quickly jumped into the proverbial “real world” as an information specialist in the media relations office at Florida State University. After a year, he began a three-year graduate program at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa where he did more than sit behind a desk.

“I loved it there because I could take literature classes and teach,” Professor Hathcock explains, “I knew I wanted to teach; this program gave me the opportunity to see if I actually knew what I was talking about.” After graduating with his MFA, Professor Hathcock began teaching literature at Samford University in Birmingham. Yet, he could not quell that creative writing itch; so when a position at Rhodes opened in 2008, he scratched. Professor Hathcock explains, “coming here as a student let me do what I wanted to do: read and write. Teaching here has let me teach what I want to teach.”

In addition to finding his passion for teaching creative writing, Professor Hathcock has been able to use his unique experience as both a faculty member and former student to recreate the classroom experience he enjoyed ten years ago. Whether choosing a reading selection, consulting with colleagues, or merely acting as a mentor for students, Professor Hathcock often takes into consideration what benefited him as a student: “I think the secret to professors is that they like questions—like the detailed, good questions— and they like people being excited about what they’re excited about."  Hathcock urges students to seek the connection between them and their subject: “Discovering that connection is the most exciting time.”

In the future, Professor Hathcock looks forward to continuing to teach more creative writing courses, including fiction, playwriting, and screenwriting, as he works towards the publication of his own book of short stories.
         

--Jordan Cook ‘11