March 2005

Faculty Feature

Dr. Jay Losey

The many wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling bookcases in Dr. Jay Losey's office are a testament to his particular research interests as well as his devotion to scholarship and teaching. His shelves are filled with books relating to his research specialties, which include Victorian prose, modern British literature, and Holocaust studies, while the bound copies of theses he has helped to oversee are prominently displayed. An associate professor of English currently in his nineteenth consecutive year of teaching at Baylor University, Dr. Losey considers teaching his "most exciting challenge." He loves interacting with his students, particularly directing Honors theses, and the process of mentoring, shaping, and refining ideas, which he calls a "challenge and a joy." He teaches at all levels, ranging from undergraduate to graduate level, from introductory writing courses to BIC World Cultures and Honors Colloquium.

A soft-spoken professor who likes teaching classes that allow his current research to overlap into the classroom, Dr. Losey obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. While studying in the doctorate program, he took several seminars focusing on different topics, including nineteenth century British literature and the Holocaust. The seminars were instrumental in shaping his interest in those areas; he is still friends with one of those professors who so influenced his life, Dr. Richard Brantley. Although Dr. Losey admits to having groped his way through several different majors before deciding on English, he particularly encourages students to take writing classes and learn how to read and interpret poetry in order to become "better analytical thinkers," which will benefit students no matter what discipline they eventually enter.

Undergraduate research is extremely important to Dr. Losey because it enables students to "sharpen their analytical and critical thinking skills" and helps to "promote the possibility of grad school," as well as giving undergraduates the "confidence of knowing they can [start] and complete major research." For undergraduates interested in doing serious research or scholarly work at Baylor, Dr. Losey advises them to get into the Honors Program and take advantage of the opportunity to do an Honors thesis. Those who have done so not only develop important critical thinking skills but also often gain an idea of what sort of topics they want to study further in the future. He most recently mentored Katie McAngus and Sarah Wurgler, who researched the works of Jack Kerouac and Ernest Hemingway, respectively.

In addition to teaching classes, mentoring theses, and acting as advisor for undergraduate English majors, Dr. Losey is the editor of "The Pater Newsletter," published twice a year and devoted to the works of Walter Pater. He is currently researching the life of Holocaust survivor Primo Levi and working on a novel focusing on the works of late to modern century British writers.

Dr. Losey, who is "delighted, honored, [and] privileged to be teaching," is a valued teacher, mentor, and encourager, a professor who has willingly sacrificed his time and energy for his students again and again. He is an inspiration to English majors and all students who wish to undertake the challenge of undergraduate research and thesis writing.