Last Lectures

I transferred to Reed as a sophomore from another small college, where I had not felt challenged academically in a way that suited my needs. In my first semester I enrolled in the Chinese humanities class, with my section being led by Doug Fix [Asian studies 1990–], and Introduction to British Poetry with Ellen Stauder [English 1983–2013]. As the semester progressed, it was clear I was struggling in both classes and so met individually with each professor. I found it both comforting and daunting to have each of them tell me they were so glad I was in the other’s class, as that respective professor would teach me how to improve my writing skills. While Ellen still called me out on using a U2 song (“Angel of Harlem”) as the subject of my paper on odes, they were right. Both Doug and Ellen created a strong foundation for my writing skills that I have been grateful for since then, including with my thesis and when I returned to graduate school for social work. Both have held a special place for me in my Reed memories as they ushered me in gently while setting me on the path forward with all that Reed had to offer. I wish Ellen the best in her retirement and know that her calm way of sharing her knowledge of English literature will be missed by many students past, present, and future.

—Alison Gilman Shepherd ’02

Denver, Colorado