Name: Lisa Lebduska
Position: Director of College Writing; Professor of English
Years at Wheaton: 18
Hometown: New City, NY; Born in Brooklyn, NY
Education: AB English/Sociology, Duke University; MS Education, Long Island University; MA, PhD, University of Rhode Island
What one thing do you miss most from campus?
I miss seeing Katsumi, who works in Balfour Hood and has photos of her shih tzu dressed up, often in giant sunglasses, sometimes in Red Sox gear, next to the register. She keeps track of everyone; invites students to her home for Thanksgiving and is just one of her hundreds of extraordinary people at Wheaton who aren’t standing in front of the classroom.
What are you currently watching on TV or reading?
Watching Picard and the last season of Veep; reading Winners Take All (Anand Giridharadas) and The Book of Delights (Ross Gay).
What is the best thing about being in quarantine?
What is your favorite thing about working at Wheaton?
The ways that President Hanno and Provost White set the tone for the college, prioritizing student well being and learning.
What is your favorite Wheaton memory?
Showing an Elizabeth Gilbert Ted Talk about creativity to my First Year Writing class, which caused one of the students to burst into tears because she so identified it. We were sitting in a U-shaped arrangement, and I was on the opposite side of the room from her, so I handed the box to the student next to me, in order to pass it around the room to her. As the box made it around the room, each student pulled out a tissue and then we all shared a collective, cathartic nose blow.
Favorite event to attend at Wheaton College?
The Music faculty’s annual recital
Favorite place on the Wheaton College Campus?
The Art Gallery
What living person do you most admire?
Stacey Abrams; Jimmy Wales
Who are your favorite writers?
Toni Morrison; Alice Munro
Which talent would you most like to have?
Singing and Parkour. Preferably simultaneously.
What is something surprising about you that most people don’t know?
In the fourth grade, I played Jennifer Jane, a girl who has lost her doodlebug and spends the rest of the play chasing after it, as it digs down through the center of the earth, while we all chanted, “Down deep down dig the Doodlebug dig/To the middle of the Earth so sound and big.” Hollywood never called.