Dr. Bethany Sue Strong Sinnott

Degree and Year: 
BA 1962
Professional Title: 
Professor of English Emerita
Employer: 
Catawba College

Professional Background: 
M.A. in English Northwestern University, 1963; Ph.D. UNC-CH, 1972. Taught at Catawba College, Salisbury, NC from 1969-2011, specializing in Shakespeare. Lectured for the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival. Received several teaching awards, including the South Atlantic Association of Departments of English Outstanding Teaching Award. Served in several administrative posts including English Department Chair, Director of the Honors Program, and Director of the Humanities Division.

How has being an English graduate from Duke University helped shape your professional success?: 
Role models were extremely important, beginning with Dr. Joseph Bryant, who taught a sophomore course in Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton and Donne that enchanted me. Then there was the inimitable and dear Dr. William Blackburn, whose courses in Renaissance poetry and creative writing left a lasting impression. Finally, Dr. George Walton Williams, whose senior-graduate course in Shakespeare stays with me always (Fred Chappell was a fellow student in the course). In later years I felt privileged to call him "George" at Shakespeare Association of America meetings. Also an important factor in my professional success was being editor-in-chief of the Chronicle my senior year. Directing the Chronicle staff was the most useful management experience I had when I was faced with the task of directing the faculty of the Humanities Division.