There is a long-standing, institutionalized message within academia that being empathetic to students is antithetical to academic rigor. This paper considers the working adult student who already know about time management and hitting deadlines – they are caregivers and employees, and they manage to juggle a variety of tasks on a daily basis. This paper discusses the value and opportunity of applying empathy as a complement to academic rigor.
Kristen McQuinn is a medievalist by study, a nerd by nature, and a single mother by choice, but her day job is spent as a Faculty Development Chair for the College of General Studies. She received her master’s degree in medieval literature from Arizona State University. She has been published in her field, with her most recent publication being The Two Isabellas of King John, in 2021 by Pen and Sword. She is passionate about diversity in literature and maintains a blog dedicated primarily to literature at hergraceslibrary.com. Her next passion project is going to be creating a Little Free Library of banned books. She teaches various classes for the University as well, primarily the science fiction literature and fairy tales and folklore courses.