In this interview piece, I've captured a few threads of history and lore from the humble Department of Humanities and Communication at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University–Prescott (ERAU–Prescott). The occasion? Two influential faculty members with whom I barely had the chance to work retired from their positions in 2022, prompting us to reflect on their achievements and their legacies as scholars, teachers, and mentors.
Dr. Eileen Landis-Groom
Eileen began teaching at ERAU–Prescott in 1986. She became the backbone of our department's creative writing courses, supported the first writing center tutoring program on our campus, and enthusiastically led our STEM students in producing a literary magazine, The Black Box. Her accomplishments are unparalleled.
Dr. Angela Beck
Shortly after joining ERAU–Prescott in 2002, Angela began collaborating with the College of Engineering to institute an integrated capstone course—a course still required of all engineering students here. She also served as beloved chair of the department for several years, mentoring dozens of her colleagues with wisdom and generosity.
Both Dr. Eileen Landis-Groom and Dr. Angela Beck have been celebrated as invaluable colleagues by so many of those who have worked with them through the decades. This record of their memories, triumphs, challenges, and advice outlines 30 years of academic history from the vantage point of a small and unique STEM university.
The full audio piece, compiled from my separate interviews with each colleague, is available for immersive listening here below. Selected clips have also been recontextualized alongside a timeline of the last 40+ years. Full transcripts are also available in HTML, plain text, and PDF formats.
These women's stories and voices prompt me to consider how I might carry on their valuable work as I build my own career into whatever it will become. Change happens whether we want it to or not; what kinds of change will we push for, as we unfold the future?