Faculty Focus Friday is a new Q&A series that highlights individual faculty members in various academic programs around Spalding University. The first faculty member we’ll meet is Assistant Professor Minda Reves, who is in her first year as Director of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program within the School of Liberal Studies. Reves, who holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California-Riverside, is a successful freelance writer outside of her teaching duties. She’s had articles in essays published by the Oxford American, Longreads, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Guardian, the Washington Post, Teen Vogue, Dropbox and elsewhere. She is an active member of Louisville’s literary scene serving on the Young Author’s Greenhouse board and leading community-based writing workshops for Sarabande’s Writing Labs.
What do you like about working and teaching at Spalding?
I love the students and my colleagues and staff. Everyone is great, and there is a lot of openness, positivity, compassion and willingness to learn about each other amongst everyone on campus.
What is your academic specialty, areas of expertise or research?
I am the director of the undergraduate creative writing program. Personally, I write personal essays, memoir and a lot of article and content writing.
Why is your program a good option for new students to consider as their major?
A lot of times students who are passionate about creative writing seem to shy away from it because either society or their parents have taught them that there is no money in writing despite the fact that there are millions of people around the world making a living as writers. I feel like college is the place for exploring what you are passionate about, and over the years we have pulled away from that. As the new director of the program, I am putting an emphasis on giving students the freedom and empowering them to find out what fascinates them through creative art. I am also realistic because I know after their time here they have to go into the workforce, and I have a strong understanding of what a writer’s life can look like. Whether you want to write full time, or if you have a day job and need to remain connected to the writing community, I can help these young writers find their path.
What is an interesting thing that you keep in your office?
I have a pretty minimalist aesthetic, so I think the most interesting thing about my office is how empty it is. I’m sure I will get more books and things, but I am into design and decor and have a specific aesthetic that will prevail as I spend more time in this office.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Getting to see people grow and light up as they are encountering new thoughts. I also find it rewarding that the same cycle is happening within me. I learn just as much from my students as they learn from me.
At Spalding, we like to say, “Today is a great day to change the world.” How do you think your role at Spalding is helping you change the world or the world of your students?
Changing the world starts with changing people, and the first person you can change is yourself. I think when students or peers see you are willing to change it inspires others to grow and change as people. Change is scary, and it’s easier to stay small and closed off. But the more you face your fears and step up, I think that inspires others, and it becomes a chain reaction.
Follow the Spalding BFA in Creative Writing program on Instagram at @spaldingcreativewritingbfa