Photo by Kayless Chalmers
A campus student will see Jayson Iwen teaching multiple English and Writing classes at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, including Key American Modernists – a class given to him only a week before the spring 2019 semester began. For the fall 2019 semester, Iwen is teaching Advanced Creative Writing (online and campus), Independent Study, and Directed Studies in Writing.
Regarding Key American Modernists, Iwen took on the class after another English professor had to take an emergency semester off due to familial complications. “I needed to turn the class into something else,” Iwen said. “I had to invent the class… I feel as though for me, as the instructor, I made it really manageable and it worked much better than it could have.”
Iwen’s career began after he graduated from UW-Green Bay with his Bachelor’s Degree in 1996. Two years later, Iwen received his Master’s Degree from UW-Milwaukee. Then, he received his PhD in English with an emphasis in creative writing, in 2002. After seven years of post-secondary education, Iwen moved to be a professor in English and Writing.
“I love writing and literature. I wanted to keep studying it as long as I could. I like college a lot, as it was one of the most enjoyable times of my life,” said Iwen. “It was the kind of place I wanted to work.”
Before coming to UWS as a professor, Iwen taught at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, Asia for four years. Unfortunately, he had to leave due to political instability when the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Rafic Hariri, was assassinated. For a time, Iwen practiced other professions, but eventually, he regained his love for teaching and was offered a position at UWS.
Iwen was excited about the job, “It made sense for a lot of reasons: I’m from Wisc. originally, I have a brother who is living in Duluth, I’d been visiting a bunch of times, and I have family in the area.”
Iwen’s time at UWS has had many students taking his classes. Emma Kimball, a student of Iwen’s, said, “[He] is a professor that is often well loved by his students, and for good reason. He’s relaxed [and] isn’t afraid to be real with his students… He encourages student creativity and is not judgmental.”
Iwen’s tip when taking one of his classes, or any other class at UWS, is “Manage your time, make deadlines for yourself. College is fun, you want to socialize, you want to be involved…but you [need] to know how much time you have to meet those deadlines.”
In July, Iwen attended the National Endowment for the Humanities conference. He also received the Miller Williams Poetry Prize of $5,000.