Jimmy Guignard: English Professor
By Leslie Barnes
The road to professorship
As an assistant professor and Director of Composition at
Mansfield University, Jimmy Guignard spends most of his days
buried in English and writing. From teaching composition,
advanced writing, composition pedagogy, professional writing
and environmental literature to answering student emails,
making agendas, writing minutes and much more, Guignard is
immersed in his English Ph.D.
Jimmy Guignard got his Masters in English at Western Carolina
University in 1999. From there, he went straight to the University
of Nevada, where he got his Ph.D. in English with an emphasis
in Composition and Rhetoric. Jimmy married his wife, Lilace,
the summer before they moved to Nevada, and they had one child,
Gabe (5 years), while he was in grad school. They had their
second child, Gloria (2 years), once they arrived in Mansfield.
When he is not with his family, he is riding or racing one
of his four bikes or learning how to process poultry.
In his work as an assistant professor and Director of Composition,
Guignard has had many opportunities to present his ideas.
He has given papers at the Conference on College Composition
and Communication as well as at local Pennsylvania conferences.
He has presented a lecture called “The Role of the Liberal
Arts Education in a Time of Environmental Crisis” as
a part of the Faculty Lecture Series, and he has participated
in roundtables at the annual Focus the Nation conference.
Guignard is also co-editing a collection of essays called
"Literature, Writing, and the Natural World."
A loyal alumnus
Being at Western Carolina University was an important experience
in Guignard’s life. He was very happy that Western required
him to write a master's thesis, because many other schools
don’t require masters students to write a thesis. The
rigor of the English program at WCU taught him how to focus
and to learn that “you can create large volumes of good
work and still be fun to be around.” He also loved the
amount of instruction and support that Western provides, stating
that “the faculty expected a lot of the students and
the students, usually, rose to the challenge.” He made
a lot of great friends, both faculty and students.
His advice for uture Western students?“Do everything
you can do, accomplish your work, and have fun doing it.”