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Dr. Carla Rineer

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ~ William A. Ward


Name: Dr. Carla Rineer

How many years have you been working at Millersville University? 25 1/2 years

Current classes taught: Graduate-Only Modern American Fiction, American Gothic Fiction and English Composition.

Favorite class to teach? I enjoy teaching literature most of all, especially American Gothic Fiction.

Favorite book to teach? I enjoy teaching Gertrude Stein’s Three Lives because students begin in confusion and end in appreciation of her craft. Also, Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe because students discover that it is a better book than they expected it to be. It is undeniably the most consequential of American novels.

Favorite author? Lydia Maria Child. Not for the books she’s written so much as for the expansive soul she reveals through them.

What is your favorite part about teaching? The classroom.  I find discussing literature with my students to be incredibly energizing and joyful.

Why did you choose to become a professor? Because I have a strong drive to know and to share what I know.

What is your favorite place on campus? My office in Dauphin House.  I’ve had wonderful conversations with students there and find it tranquil and lovely to be surrounded by some of my books.

Where in the world have you always wanted to travel? I’ve traveled extensively and crave seeing new and familiar places.  One place that I hope to see before I die is Egypt. I’m fascinated by the pyramids and the mythology.

What advice would you give freshmen? To engage fully in the experience. Be interested and interesting. Study hard, play hard, and be aware.

What advice would you give seniors? The future will be filled with unanticipated twists and turns. Go forth with trust and openness.

If you could enter the world of any book, which would you choose and why? Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. The desolate moors of England appeal to a wildness and bleakness in me, and the passion between Catherine and Heathcliff speaks to the romantic in me. Of course, I would hope that Heathcliff and I would make better, happier choices.

Do you have a quote you live by? If so, what is it? “The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.” —Dalai Lama

Biggest pet peeve? People who do not act kindly and responsibly, careless people who cut a painful swath through the lives of others.

What are your passions?  Narratives of all kinds, antiquarian books, travel, family and friends, fine wine, great food and my dog, Zelda Tess.

Favorite TV Show? “Downtown Abbey”

Favorite movie? “Gone with the Wind.”  I abhor, of course, its gentle portrayal of slavery, but I continue to be inspired by the strength and spunk of Scarlet O’Hara.

Favorite color? Cobalt blue.

Favorite Starbucks drink? Camomile tea with a drop of honey.

One fun fact: When I was young, I twirled fire.


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