Button Menu

In their element

Erica Hanrahan

Erica Hanrahan

head softball coach,
since 2012

“The most important points of emphasis in our program have nothing to do with the sport itself. They have to do with people and how to treat the people we interact with. Overall, we want to assume goodwill and give the benefit of the doubt. We also want to give to give instead of giving to receive something in return. We want to become so selfless that we experience Mudita – which is vicarious joy for someone else as though it is your own – for our teammates when they experience success. And we always want to lead with gratitude for whom and what we have in our lives. Ultimately, we are striving to become world-class human beings en route to our quest to become national champions. And if we never get the latter, it would be a greater accomplishment to achieve the former.”

Deepa Prakash

Deepa Prakash
professor of political science,
since 2011

“My office reflects my state of mind most weeks – it can be chaotic sometimes but there is a method to the madness, I think! I have a lot of personal artifacts around me that remind me of people, travels, interests, memories, etc. and I tend to keep the things students have given me over the years as warm memories. I also have plants that are either thriving or struggling depending on how stressed I am. My approach to mentoring students involves a lot of conversation and getting to know their individual aspirations and personality. I also try to learn a lot from our alums, who are more plugged into the current work environment and can often offer better advice than I can. Getting to know students as individuals and having conversations at key points in their journey at DePauw has been my main approach.”

Harry Brown

Harry Brown
professor of English,
since 2003

“I just moved offices, so my new space is pretty decluttered. Some people say I’m a neat freak, but I get my best thinking done in a clean and open space. I have a lot of gifts given to me by students on my shelves, paintings by DePauw artists on the walls and books pertinent to whatever classes I’m teaching in a given semester. Beyond that, the sunlight coming in my windows is my favorite thing in my office. In regard to my approach to interacting with my students, as a teacher, I try to place myself in their position as much as difference allows. What do they know and not know? What do they want to know and why? How do they approach a given text or idea? How can I adjust my own approach to accommodate theirs? What else might be happening in their lives that bears on our work in class? I think compassion is a teacher’s best attribute. Curiosity flourishes in an environment of mutual trust and humility.”

Ming-Hui Kuo

Ming-Hui Kuo
adjunct assistant professor of music and community engagement coordinator,
since 2014

"I grew up in Taiwan and wasn’t exposed to liberal arts education until coming to DePauw. Our small class size and opportunity for personal interactions at DePauw remind me of the small performing arts high school I went to. Those years were my best music-educational experiences because they provided me with a solid foundation for being a musician. As for my workspaces at DePauw, I try to create an environment where students feel comfortable being around me. The area includes my office, the percussion studio and large ensemble room. If I’m not teaching, my door is always open. It feels like a home to me, and I hope the students feel the same way. After years of teaching, I enjoy each of my roles at DePauw – being a musician, a professor and a mentor. I feel very blessed to be able to do what I love here.”

Dana Dudle

Dana Dudle
professor of biology,
since 1999

“Gaining access to the Nature Park in 2004 transformed the way we can teach about the natural world, especially plants. The site includes access to Putnam County’s main waterway, Big Walnut Creek, as well as forested areas, prairie restorations, successional fields and of course the large recovering quarry site. I try to bring students to the Nature Park and DePauw’s other natural areas in almost every class that I teach. It’s a great resource for learning about the species with whom we share our lives, and it’s a wonderful place for students to collect data on long-term projects and design their own studies. Honestly, the Nature Park is one of my top three favorite things about teaching and engaging in research with students at DePauw. The other two are the Olin Greenhouse and the students themselves.”

John Berry

John Berry
associate professor of art, painting and drawing and associate chair of art and art history,
since 2013

“In my office, I have a collection of student work, some of which was left behind but many pieces I’ve traded my work for. It is a good reminder to me of how varied young artists’ interests can be, and students like to see that they’re part of a larger community of alumni who have wrestled with the same questions they have; ranging from immediate short-term, ‘How can I make these colors work well together?’ all the way to the existential, ‘Do I want to be an artist? Do I have what it takes?’ There are so many different directions a young artist can take, and so many different jobs a creative person can succeed at and find fulfillment doing. I try to equip students to explore many options. Or, perhaps a more accurate way to put it is that I try to prepare students to take advantage of opportunities that don’t yet exist. It starts with taking the time to get to know my students.”

  • Share
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Email

DePauw Magazine

Fall 2023

DePauw Stories