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Dr. Greg Garrett
Professor of English
For Dr. Greg Garrett, an enlightened education transcends the classroom's traditional boundaries, limitless in its potential for application. "I look at education as a formative experience," Garrett says. "Students in my classes should learn more than just subject matter." The fusion of art and life – discovering art as a thread that binds all human activity – is a centerpiece of his teaching.
Garrett says his classes are "geared for people who don't think they already know everything. ™ What I encourage people to do in my classes is to ask hard questions and find their own answers."
Students have included pre-med and pre-law majors. "Anybody who wants to learn to communicate better can benefit from an English degree," says Garrett. Students learn "how to read a text, how to talk about it in an intelligent way, and how to communicate their own ideas about it."
Garrett came to Baylor because "it was a really good school, and I would have an opportunity to teach really good students." He likes having the freedom to ask ultimate questions and know his students won't be offended. "[My students] see what they're going to do in their life as a vocation and not necessarily as just a paycheck."
Garrett earned a BA in English and an MA in creative writing from the University of Central Oklahoma and a PhD in English at Oklahoma State University. In May 2007, he completed a Master of Divinity at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin. At Baylor, he teaches courses in narrative writing, scriptwriting, American literature, and film.
Before establishing himself as an author, he worked as a journalist. Garrett is especially proud of his first published novel, Free Bird, which received considerable acclaim and set a tone for him as an analyst of man's potential. He is most proud, however, of his students. Many have gone on to become writers, preachers, film directors, magazine editors, and educators. In addition to his church-related work, Garrett volunteers his time with the Writers' League of Texas, the Texas Book Festival, and the Austin Film Festival.
Besides good communication skills, Garrett explains, "The added dimensions an English degree gives you are the experience of art, beauty, and an awareness of the transcendent."