Whitney Akemi Liu
I am humbled and honored to be a part of the SFSU English Department, working among outstanding faculty. Having been born and raised in the Bay Area, I am fortunate to work in a place I call home and to serve the resilient, thoughtful, and inspiring students of SF State. I came to the field of English (composition) in a round-about way. After receiving my B.A. from UCLA in History/Art History and my first M.A. from the University of Washington (Seattle) in Japanese Art History, I took some time off to raise my two children. During this seminal period, I developed a love of reading, and eventually writing, and decided to get an M.A. in composition – along with a Certificate in Teaching Post-Secondary Reading – at SF State. I would not be where I am today were it not for my mentor-teachers to whom I am deeply indebted.
Now, nothing brings me more joy and excitement than teaching reading and writing to SFSU students and helping them grow into critical thinkers by engaging in fun and challenging activities and discussion while building strong community bonds. Creating a safe and trusting environment is my top priority in teaching, and I find that my students thrive in this atmosphere by taking more risks and growing in both their reading and writing abilities. Two other top priorities are finding ways to genuinely engage students: I offer as much choice as possible (both in the texts we read as well as the assignments we write) and I collaborate with my students as much as possible to create and alter assignments and rubrics, making our work together relevant to the students’ personal lives.
Please come introduce yourself to me or, better yet, join one of my classes – I am always excited to meet new students and to share my love of reading and writing with others!