Meet the New Faculty Members (Part 2)

This article is a continuation of last week’s article “Meet the New Faculty Members.”

Ada Fan, Instructor in English

What are your official roles on campus this year?
I’m teaching three courses, English 200, another 200 section and a [section of English] 300. [I’m] co-advising The Phillipian, a compliment in America House, an advisor and an interviewer for the admissions office.

What is your favorite book to teach?
I’ve been teaching Moby Dick. I don’t know if I’ve been entirely successful with that, but I keep going back to it because everything is in it. [There’s] a multicultural backdrop and the clash of human cultures, lots of really great Shakespearean references and there’s a wonderful sort of cosmic, philosophical rumination.

What is your favorite part of the Andover community?
I think that the setting is beautiful. I’m very comfortable here because even though I’m [considered] new, this is actually my 25th year here. I taught for 24 years here. It feels like home to me. The people are great, but I think [my favorite part], most of all, [is] the intellectual intensity. Not every single individual, perhaps, but collectively, I think there’s this wonderful intellectual intensity.

Kassy Fritz, College Counseling

What are your roles on campus this year?
My primary role is Director of College Counseling. I also have a group of seniors that I’m working with. On 158 Main Street, there are two boys who live in a dorm and I’m a house counselor there.

What is your favorite part about being a counselor and working with kids?
I’ve always loved college counseling because it’s an opportunity to work closely with students and their lives here, but then begin to have them understand and appreciate what’s next. One of the things we’re working towards is starting to demystify the fear of the college process and really have it be something that kids are excited about–that you recognize that it’s something you’re well prepared [for] coming from a school like Andover.

What is your favorite Commons food?
Every time I go there, it’s always something new and exciting! The spa water is pretty outstanding, and the salad bar is always offering something pretty unique.

Suzanne Heon, Graham House Counselor

What are your roles on campus this year?
As a Psychological Counselor and Wellness Educator, I provide both counseling at Graham House and wellness education across campus. I will also be involved in teaching PACE and assisting with development of the Empathy and Balance curriculum.

What is your favorite Commons food?
I’m consistently amazed by the quality of the food at Commons. Given how
good the food has been, I don’t think I can pick a favorite.

Why did you decide to come to Andover?
From the moment I stepped foot on campus, it just felt right. I was impressed by the dedication of the faculty and the mission of the school, but what truly made my decision was the group of students I met on my interview day. As I walked away from having lunch with the students, I remember thinking that it would be incredibly rewarding to work with such an intelligent, diverse, and inquisitive group of young people. The opening of the Rebecca M. Sykes Wellness Center and the opportunity to be part of the Empathy and Balance initiative were also extremely exciting opportunities for me.

Julia Howard, Fellow in the Office of Community Engagement

What are your official roles on campus this year?
I am the new Fellow in Community Engagement. My role is that I assist with all the programming and scheduling that goes on in the Community Engagement Office. I also serve as a house complement to Clement House.

Why do you think the Community Engagement Office is important to students?
I think it’s an important office because our emphasis through all our programs is to give students a hands-on opportunity to engage with different people and communities through different projects and work. I graduated college as a sociology major, and I remember that the experiences that really brought what I learned in the classroom to life was when I was out in the community engaging with other people and learning from them.

What is your favorite Commons food?
I really like Sunday dinner when it’s turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing. That whole combination is quite good. I’m also pretty impressed with the cappuccino bar.

Jill Kozloff, Instructor in Chemistry

What are your roles on campus this year?
I am teaching Chemistry 250 and 500, I am a complimentary House Counselor in Bancroft and I am the assistant coach for the Boys and Girls Varsity Water Polo teams.

What’s your favorite part of teaching Chemistry?
My favorite part of teaching Chemistry is probably getting kids who have decided that they’re not science people to think of themselves as science students. Getting them to realize that they actually like Chemistry, and that they’re actually good at it and that they can be science people. Teaching kids that they don’t have to decide after Biology 100 whether they’re scientifically inclined or not. That there’s a different class that they have a shot at that’s completely different from Biology. Kids will find that they’re really good at Chemistry, or really like Chemistry and not have been the best at Biology. It’s fun to break kids down with what they think they know about themselves.

James Kuper, Graham House Intern

Why did you come to Andover?
First, Andover is known for its tight-knit community of extraordinary people. How could I not check it out? Second, the clinical training provided by Carol Israel and her staff at Graham House is top notch. Third, while I never attended Andover, I did spend some time at a boarding school. It was a remarkable experience. The adults in my life played a major role in my development both positively and negatively. I suppose part of me wanted to pay it forward, in some way the positive part, of course.

Why does psychology and counseling appeal to you?
The power of clinical psychology, in my experience, is that it helps each individual develop insights, mindful perspectives, and tools to reconnect with others, in one way or another. Sometimes, all it takes is a little company during these developmental changes. I believe we need others on our journeys of self-discovery. I feel privileged that people let me join them on their ride.

Johanna Lane, Writer in Residence

What is your favorite novel and why?
I would say it is “Through the Lighthouse” by Virginia Woolf, and she is one of my favorite writers. I think it is her best novel, and she really influenced the way that I wrote my book, Black Lake. In “Through the Lighthouse,” the mother, who you have been following through the whole novel, dies, but she dies in parentheses. I really loved the idea that she just didn’t get melodramatic about her death. There was a death I had in my book that I handled similarly.

What classes do you teach?
I teach two classes: a poetry workshop and a fiction workshop.

What made you want to teach at Andover?
Andover is very unusual, because there are a lot of fellowships for writers that have not yet published their first book. And there are fellowships for people who are further along in their career. So it was the perfect thing for me to do right now and I am incredibly lucky that they picked me.

Jermaine Matheson, Instructor in History

What classes do you teach?
This term I am teaching History 300, but next term and in the spring I will teach History 200 as well.

What is your favorite time period in history?
My favorite time period in history is actually what my class is studying right now. I really enjoy the Constitution, this era and the writing of the document. In terms of my background, I am a political scientist, so I love politics and the structure of government.

What was your experience like with history as a student?
As a student I never thought that I would teach. I remember really liking my history teacher – my history teacher is the one that pushed me to become a teacher myself. There are certain teachers that I had as a high school and college student that really stand out to me, and most of them taught history. In high school I did not particularly like the subject, but as I got older, I got to see and appreciate how amazing and powerful the discipline is.

Jadrian Miles, Instructor in Math, Statistics and Computer Science

What’s your favorite unit to teach in computer science?
I’m really bad at picking favorites. I enjoy doing data structures and I’m going to be teaching a combined data structure and algorithm class in the spring, that’s something I have a lot of experiences with.

What brought you to Andover?
I was really impressed when I came in to talk, had wonderful conversations, I sat in on some classes and I was really impressed. Also, I believe that my kind of educational mission is well served by working with younger students, I want to see a lot more people feeling invited to studying computer science even if they don’t want to do it for their lives. It’s such a powerful field of study, it’s such a powerful set of ideas and skills to just apply to anything and so I want students who are interested in social justice or political theory or ancient greek history and everything else to come and take computer science.

What is your favorite Commons food?
I’ve been loving the salad bar. I’m also mostly vegetarian and as a New Englander, when I tried to go vegetarian a few years ago I just couldn’t give up shellfish, I felt as if i was betraying my culture and so I really liked the fact that last night at dinner there were clams. I love clams and there aren’t a lot of cafeterias with clams.

Jessica Pierre, Paid Intern in Graham House

What are your roles on campus?
I am a Graham House Counseling Intern and really excited to be here this year. Currently, I’m in my 5th and final year of a clinical psychology doctoral program at William James College.

What is your favorite part about working in Graham House?
I love working with young people. My favorite part in particular is connecting with and getting to know students. I also enjoy the rewarding feeling in knowing that I helped a student reach insights and learn new helpful coping/stress management strategies. Furthermore, it’s a pleasure to also have the chance to learn from students about their experiences. You all have been so helpful in orienting me to Andover and showing me the ropes.

What is your favorite aspect of campus so far?
So far, I’m really appreciating the great-quality food at the Commons. You can find me there for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have no issue with waiting in the long lines for a stir fry dish once in awhile. It’s so delicious! I’m also enjoying getting to learn more about Andover’s rich culture and long history.

Hijoo Son, Instructor in History

What are the courses that you are currently teaching?
This year I’m teaching History 100, 300 and a senior elective in the spring on Asian History.

Did you have any prior teaching experiences before Andover?
Yes, I taught at Exeter for two years, and before that I was teaching at a university for about 5 years. I have about 20 years of teaching experience.

What inspired you to teach in general?
I believe that students are the future. I love teaching. I teach history to get to know more about where I come from. I was a history major undergrad, and completed my graduate studies so it’s something that i have a passion for.

What are your other passions besides history?
Cooking! I love cooking all food: asian food, barbeques, everything. I just cooked last night in fact– smoked baby back ribs and some salad.

Ranbel Sun, Instructor in Physics

What about the Andover campus appealed to you?
Definitely the students. You guys are just on a whole other level. Students here are driven and motivated. They’re also very curious. Today I had a student who didn’t get to fully finish her lab during our lab period and even though it wasn’t required for her to finish, she came back after school just because she wanted to see if it works.I think that’s just a characteristic of students here. It’s hard to find elsewhere.

What inspired you to teach?
I guess I’ve always liked learning and I think when you like learning, you also like being able to share that with other people. That’s where teaching comes in. It’s fun to be able to see from other perspectives, where the students are coming from. My background is in engineering and I like to think of it as debugging students’ brains in terms of what they’re thinking.

Which courses are you teaching?
Physics 400 and 550.