This past April, Priscilla Atkins announced that she was on the brink of completing her final semester at Van Wylen Library. For eighteen years, Priscilla has been a highly active, influential, and respected member of the Hope College community; the ways in which she has impacted the lives of both students and faculty colleagues are beyond measure. Priscilla is an exemplary teacher-librarian whose prowess in library education has proven to be second to none. When asked to recall her favorite things about being a librarian at Hope, she said “learning and teaching, which happens all-over-the-place: research help desk, team-teaching with a classroom colleague, solo teaching, sitting in as a student while someone else leads, attending a BSU or LaRU or HAPA meeting…” Indeed, many of us have had the privilege to witness firsthand how she can truly engage with students both in and outside of the classroom.
Priscilla has also developed an impressive portfolio as a writer. Her publications include articles about teaching, a critical essay on contemporary poet Cathleen Calbert, book reviews, and poetry. Her poems have been published in journals both in the United States and abroad, including Poetry London, Salmagundi, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, Raritan, Poetry, and The Southern Review, as well as in anthologies, such as New Poetry from the Third Coast: Contemporary Michigan Poetry (Wayne State, 2000).
As her time on the library faculty comes to a close, Priscilla plans to remain actively involved at Hope. This fall, she will be teaching a section of First Year Seminar as well as Women’s Studies 350 (Visions for Justice: Feminist Theory and Methodology). Although she will be missed dearly here in the library, we wish her an equally successful and rewarding “next stage”.
— Todd Wiebe
Priscilla Atkins (left) sharing a laugh with Director of Libraries, Kelly Jacobsma, during her library farewell reception on May 23.