First-Year Faculty Spotlight

Sara Wigal, M.A.

Assistant Professor and Director of Publishing


What is your position here at Belmont?

I am an Assistant Professor in the newly formed Cinema, Television, and Media department (formerly MDS and MOT) at Curb College, and the Director of Publishing. Our BA/BS in literary Publishing here at Belmont make up a really special program, one of only two undergraduate programs of study in the country within this field. A big part of what I am doing now is taking this fairly young program and revising it to adhere to new college standards. For many that might seem like a hindrance, but I love big picture thinking, so it’s been a fun opportunity for me to strategize how to support learning for my students for the long term.


What brought you to Belmont?

I was asked to guest lecture to a Publishing class in Spring ’18 by Richard Sowienski, my mentor and predecessor. We’d been connected through some coworkers who had studied with him as undergraduates. I was then hired as an adjunct instructor and followed that path toward becoming a full-time faculty member.


What do you enjoy most about Belmont and your work?

It’s hard to pick just one thing. I think everyone at Belmont really loves each other—the faculty, staff, and students all have such a great rapport, and joining this community has felt wonderful. I feel free here to creatively problem solve some of the challenges facing the Publishing program and tackle that with a lot of support. It’s fun for me to design new courses, think about sequencing, and just generally work to grow knowledge of this program in the Publishing community at large, with families across the country, and even here on campus. I’m passionate about growing leaders for the industry and helping students pivot their love of reading and writing into a practical skill set for developing creative talent related to books and magazines, all in a critical and ethical manner.


When you’re not busy grading, prepping classes, researching etc., how do you enjoy spending your time?

In my off-hours I am definitely reading… and spending time with my two dogs, friends, and family. I’m passionate about Latin dancing and try to dance a few times a week socially!


Is there anything else that you would like the Belmont community to know about you and/or your role at Belmont? 

The Publishing major is a great double major or minor to pair with English, Public Relations, Marketing, Design Communications, and many other majors, of course including quite a few in my own department. If you have students that love reading and/or writing and want to pair that with practical business skills, this is a good program for them to consider. We equip students with the literary knowledge, writing foundation, and business acumen necessary to become experts in managing authors and their careers. Many creatives themselves work in Publishing as a day job, so I see many savvy students learning the trade from this side of the desk, hoping to one day be the author themselves (a wise and financially-solvent approach to becoming published).

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