Dr. Erin Joyce: Faculty Member


John Hepp

Professor of French Dr. Erin Joyce finds time to teach students on campus and partakes in Irish dance.

Story by Kerrigan Hartzell, Staff Writer

Professor of French Dr. Erin Joyce started her career at Baker after growing up right outside of Philadelphia, attending undergrad at the University of Richmond in Virginia and eventually Penn State University for graduate school. When she got the job at Baker, she had never been to Kansas before, but Baker was by far her favorite school she had applied to.

“Since I was really young, I’ve always wanted to teach,” Joyce said, “I wasn’t always sure what or at what level, but I knew I’d like to teach.”

Joyce took French classes in junior high and loved them, so she kept going with the theme. Her college advisor encouraged her to go to graduate school, get a PhD and teach at the college level.

The small environment at Baker is one of  Joyce’s favorite things about campus. “Being in a place where I get to know so many people – students, my colleagues, the staff. Everybody knows each other and I like that.”

Coming from doing graduate work at Penn State, Joyce was used to a big environment, so it was an exciting and unique new change to come to a school with less than fifteen hundred people.

Besides her passion for the French language, Joyce enjoys the art of Irish dancing.

For a long time, she was an Irish dancer, although she doesn’t practice anymore, she loves Irish music and the culture and history behind it. She looks forward to attending the Irish Fest whenever it comes to Kansas City.

Joyce also teaches classes in the Quest program in order to meet more students outside of the French program. She has been a professor at Baker for over twenty-one years now. Although she is not currently advising any clubs, she has in the past and plans to continue in the future.

She wants the student body at Baker to know that she is very dedicated to forming personal relationships with her students.

“It’s very important for me to get to know my students and to create a comfortable environment for them, along with creating balance between comfort and meeting educational goals,” Joyce said.

Joyce makes a huge impact on the students taking her classes as well as remaining a smiling and friendly face around campus.

“My favorite thing about her class is that she just has a lot of enthusiasm and it just brightens everyone’s mood,” Sophomore Kaosi Ude said. Ude was apprehensive before starting her French class this fall, “but now, in her class, I think “wow, this is fun.”‘

Teaching at such a small school, Joyce warrants all newcomers to get to know her, along with any other professor at Baker.

“Talk to your teachers. Go to their office hours,” Joyce said.

And to those leaving after this year, follow your heart and do what you love.

“Yeah, you have to make money at something,” she said with a smile, “but do what makes you happy.”