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Mentorship and Hands-on Experience at York College Enhance Alumna’s Career

Headshot of Angela Glotfelter

Dr. Angela Glotfelter ’15 discovered her passion for teaching while majoring in Professional Writing at York College of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Angela Glotfelter remembers writing a paper for one of her York College of Pennsylvania undergraduate classes, listing numerous careers that wouldn’t interest her.

“I was feeling aimless,” she says.

When her graded paper was returned, her professor had written a comment along the lines of What about teaching?

“I remember being like, ‘Wow, maybe I could do that. I think I’d like that!’” Dr. Glotfelter recalls. “Now that I’m a professor, I’m stunned, and grateful, to think that maybe they saw something in me that I didn’t know was there.”  

The decision to pursue a Professional Writing degree at York College proved to be a pivotal choice that set her on a path to career success.

Career experiences in college

York College professors such as Dr. Michael Zerbe, Professor of English, and Dr. Kerrie Carsey, former Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition, invested in her education and provided crucial guidance during moments of anxiety and uncertainty.

“Their mentorship allowed me to get the experiences working as a writing fellow and a writing tutor that eventually led me to realize I might enjoy higher education as a job,” Dr. Glotfelter says.

These mentorship experiences, coupled with the hands-on opportunities presented to her, ignited a passion for teaching and helping others to improve their writing skills. Her internship working on the alumni magazine with York College Director of Editorial Services Gail Huganir proved instrumental in honing her writing abilities, including crafting effective questions, conducting interviews, and synthesizing information into compelling narratives. Those abilities continue to serve her as a qualitative researcher.

The satisfaction she derived from being a writing fellow and tutor, assisting others with their writing and witnessing their progress, fueled her desire to continue similar work after graduation. These experiences also provided her with opportunities for undergraduate research and conference presentations, solidifying her commitment to pursuing further education and research.

Pursuing higher education

After her time at York College and after earning a master’s degree, Dr. Glotfelter began work on a doctorate. York College played a significant role in preparing her for this pursuit. The coursework in the Professional Writing major furnished her with a solid foundation for graduate studies, while her roles as a writing tutor and fellow equipped her with essential teaching experience and the confidence to get through the application process.

Dr. Glotfelter serves as Assistant Professor of English at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She teaches, performs research, and advocates for evidence-based writing education, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Her focus is on the intersection of equity, technology, and writing, where she examines how biases can manifest themselves in writing technologies as she emphasizes the importance of responsible and mindful use of these tools.

Dr. Glotfelter's dedication to her students' success and her commitment to fostering a better world through education are pillars of her career.

Looking back on her journey, she recognizes that impostor syndrome and mental health struggles have been her most significant challenges. Working through them has allowed her to grow personally and professionally, and she embraces therapy and medication as integral components of her well-being.

“It’s important to talk about mental health and be open about our experiences so people can see that they’re extremely common and, more importantly, not insurmountable,” she says.

A rewarding career

The most rewarding aspect of Dr. Glotfelter's career has been witnessing her students thrive and pursue their educational dreams. Contributing to a better world through education and advocating for evidence-based writing education and DEI remain central to her goals.

Dr. Glotfelter expects to continue her work in higher education, with a focus on teaching, conducting research, and advocating for causes about which she is passionate. She hopes to secure tenure as she remains committed to positively impacting the lives of her students and the field of writing education.

Dr. Glotfelter's journey from an aimless high schooler to a successful professional in the field of writing and education showcases the transformative power of mentorship, academic opportunities, and perseverance. York College played a pivotal role in shaping her career, equipping her with the necessary skills, knowledge, and support to navigate challenges and excel in her chosen field.

“Most of all,” she says, “I’d say the people at York College—my mentors, the various people I came into contact with during my time there, people like Dr. Zerbe, Dr. Carsey, and Gail—helped me gain the confidence to reach for my dreams.”