Jocelyn Heaney Brings a New Twist to English Department

El Vaquero Staff Writer

Jocelyn Heaney knows what it is like to go back to school after taking a break.After working for a few years, she decided to go back to school at age 25, attending Santa Monica College before transferring to UC Berkeley.

She went on to obtain a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in writing at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Heaney has been teaching English at Glendale College since the winter intersession of 2005.

“I was surprised when she told me the other day that she had only been teaching here for a year,” says Rosie Achabahian. “The way she taught felt like she had been here for a while.”

Achabahian, 20, took Heaney for English 101 in spring of 2005.

“I really enjoyed her laid-back thoughts about English literature. She brought many real life examples in to compliment what she taught in class.”

Jennifer Loffredo also liked Heaney’s use of diverse tactics for educating the class.

“I enjoyed when she separated the class into groups for further discussion,” said Loffredo, 28, who took Heaney’s class in the winter intersession. “She interacts with the students and makes the subject interseting, which is very important.”

Heaney cites Vladimir Nabokov, author of “Lolita” as one of her favorite authors, as well as writer James Joyce, author of “Ulysses.”

A few of her favorite poets include Frank O’Hara, Rainer Maria Rilke and C.B. Wright. Heaney also admires English Department Chair Michael Ritterbrown.

“I feel lucky to be at GCC because of the intelligent and supportive English department,” says Heaney.

“Her talents haven’t gone unnoticed, she’s very popular with students and faculty alike,” said Ritterbrown. “Jocelyn is a uniquely talented instructor and wonderful individual. We are very proud to have her as part of our English department.”

Heaney enjoys using books for her classes that are not normally used in education.

“I really liked Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried,”” said Achabahian. “It was a good presentation of what men in the Vietnam War went through.”

Heaney also likes the assortment of people on campus.

“I love the diversity of the school,” she said. “All the people at school have such different life experiences.”

Although Heaney is an adjunct professor, many of her students want her to be here full time because of the way she teaches and her desire to help students succeed.

According to and Achabahian, Jocelyn should be here forever.