Getting to Know Your SPA Professors: Wendy Bolyard

Connecting with your professors can benefit you in the classroom and beyond.  Read this series to dive deeper into the minds of our professors and get answers to some fun and interesting questions.    We asked professors to reflect on their career, advice for students, non-academic hobbies and interests.

IMG_0001Where does your passion/inspiration for your work come from? Is it why you entered your field?

I consider myself an education pusher. With two brothers-in-law in law enforcement, I remind myself that there are other things I could be pushing that would land me in jail. Education is an important equalizer. Looking back, I didn’t really enter my field on purpose, rather, I fell into it. But I wouldn’t change a thing!

What do you know now that you wished you knew when you were entering grad school?

How nice it would be to be on the tenure track. When I finished my Ph.D., I thought I was too old to seek tenure. It’s hard work but tenure is a privilege and I wish everyone embraced it as such.


What’s your favorite quote?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

What is your research/teaching philosophy?

Learning is central to the student experience and I hope my teaching inspires and motivates students to goals beyond good grades. Students evolve as they strive for intellectual fulfillment recognizing this as a lifelong process rather than the culmination of activities that result in a transcript. I value teaching for the opportunity it provides to inspire others to change the world through education.

If you were not a professor, what would you be?

I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up. I hope to spend the rest of my lifetime learning what gifts I have to give.

What is your favorite non-academic reading/interests?

Some favorite authors include Richard Bach, C.S. Lewis, and Maeve Binchy. My non-academic interests revolve around my nephew and nieces, and making chocolate-covered pretzels.


What was your first concert?

Beach Boys at Red Rocks. Wow, that makes me feel old!

Where have you lived outside of Colorado?

West Virginia, Florida, Virginia, Maryland.

What is your ideal vacation? Or where do you like to travel?

I loved visiting China as well as Paris, France, and would love to return to both one day. Sadly, I’m not good about vacations. It’s difficult for me to unplug. But I’d travel anywhere, any time! I have offered to carry the bags of SPA colleagues who have traveled, but none have taken me up on the offer.  🙂

What gets you up every morning? What keeps you up at night?

My crazy Beagle gets me up every morning. Too many things keep me up at night. My life’s work is not yet done.

Categories: Academics, Features

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