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Got Passion? Beth Barry

August 12, 2013

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When English lecturer Beth Barry gets a classroom full of freshmen each year, she hopes they leave her course with a new understanding of the written word. Her “Write To Serve” method shows incoming students how writing is a way they can communicate ideas they care about.

“Writing is like music or painting,” said Barry. “It’s a form of expression you can use to empower yourself and others. Even academic writing should be creative and compelling – it should touch an audience and inspire action, just like great art does.”

She knows not everyone shares her passion for writing and some students dread writing. They especially dread letting others read their work. That, however, is why she remains so dedicated to her cause.

“Part of their course requirement is that we go into the community and share our stories with others,” said Barry. “We go to Seguin High School each year and work with freshman in the writing center. I tell my students that their story could influence someone else to stand up and fix something they don’t like in their lives. They could be a catalyst for change.”

Most importantly, she wants students to know writing isn’t just a series of meaningless assignments.

”It’s an opportunity to find your voice, sharpen your writing skills, and practice using those skills to empower yourself and others. It’s an opportunity to share and to celebrate our own lives. Your story might resonate with someone. I want students to know their words can inspire others.”

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