First Year Faculty Thoughts

Heather Finch, Ph.D.

Faculty Fellow, Department of English

B.S., English, Tuskegee University
M.A., English, Auburn University
Ph.D., English, Auburn University

When I stepped into the college classroom as an instructor of record for the first time over 10 years ago, I could have never anticipated the needs this career path would meet for me as I grow as a professional and person. It’s that transformative nature of the classroom that will not let me turn away from it. Even as I worked in positions outside of the classroom, I eagerly said yes when asked if I had time to teach a class or two. The classroom transforms me every time by presenting me with the honor of learning with students who teach me more about the communities we’re currently building in not only our nation but the world. When presented with the opportunity to pursue teaching full time last year, I decided to make a change.

This change lead me to Belmont where my faculty fellowship presents me with many opportunities to grow as an instructor, scholar, and academic professional. I have worked with my faculty mentor to increase my preparedness for tenure-track, encountered welcoming colleagues willing to share their experiences, worked with thoughtful, creative students, and taken advantage of sessions and conversations that have made me a better teacher. My experience so far has shown me Belmont understands the support it takes to help faculty become better at every step in their careers. Transitions can be critical, and I’m grateful to have Belmont be a part of my transition to full-time faculty work and Nashville.


The First Year Faculty Thoughts series is a way for the Belmont University community to get to know new faculty members as they reflect on their journeys to Belmont.