As part of Union’s general education requirements, every student must take ENGL 110, Writing for General Audiences. This class is taught by multiple faculty members in the Division of Humanities, one of which is Lori Peckham, the division’s newest professor.
Lori Peckham graduated from Pacific Union College with a double major in communication and English, then continued her education in La Sierra’s graduate program by studying a Masters in writing. During those two years of graduate study, she also taught English Composition at La Sierra.
After graduating, she moved forward in her career to be the Assistant Editor of Insight Magazine, under Chris Blake, eventually replacing him as Editor. Among her other positions, Lori Peckham has also served as Editor of Women of Spirit magazine, writing workshop speaker and editor of the “Guide’s Greatest” book series.
As a freshman at Pacific Union College, Lori Peckham wanted to be a nurse. “I figured it would be easy to find a job as a nurse, but as I began to take my Anatomy and Physiology class, I felt faint at the smell of all the lab’s dissected things. So, I called my father one night and told him about it.” After listening to his daughter explain her disappointment in the major, he asked her what classes she did enjoy. “English,” she replied, “but how will I find a job as an English major?” Her father then told her to trust God.
This was the same answer Lori Peckham gave me when I asked what advice she would give to students. “Follow your passions and gifts. Let God direct you into the place where you can serve Him.”
Union is truly blessed to welcome Lori Peckham. Lori Peckham is friendly, experienced and willing to help her students be their best. When asked about her favorite part of teaching, she answered, “The students. I love each student’s energy and creativity.”
Lori Peckham strives to help her students develop their writing skills, even if writing isn’t their favorite subject. “I received a ‘C’ in Archery in high school! It was my lowest grade (and ruined my GPA!) because it wasn’t ‘my thing.’ Sometimes writing just isn’t a student’s ‘thing’, but even those students can learn to write effectively and create wonderful imagery.”
When it comes to technology, Lori Peckham explained that sometimes the students teach her. “I’ll be trying to pull up a PowerPoint and the students are all directing me to hit the button on the left, but no it is the other button on the left. Finally, a student will ask to come up and help me and I’m like ‘YES!’”
I then asked her how she bounced back from such a maddening ordeal and she replied, “Acting! It is all a matter of acting like it didn’t faze me and remembering that the students are watching you.” Advice I can appreciate, since I’m an education major, and because it’s good advice for interviews as well. My favorite part of talking with Lori Peckham was her advice.
Another great part of our meeting was hearing of her passion for traveling. She’s been to Greece, southern Italy, and England. If she ever decided to give up teaching—and also won the lottery—she’d travel. “I’d really like to see places like the Lake District and Yorkshire in England, but I’d also want to go see more of Greece and all of the beautiful islands there.”
Even if you’re not taking ENGL 110 from Lori Peckham, I invite you to go to her office on the fourth floor of the Dick building, enjoy her comfy couch and ask her about her travels, her job as an editor or her little dog named Mr. Tumnus.
Melissa Ratter is a senior studying language arts education.