“I give students opportunities to see themselves as writers, especially in situations in which they are outside the safe confines of a classroom.”
Scott Whiddon wears many hats at Transylvania. He teaches a number of first-year and special topics courses, including such student favorites as Reading the Election and Rhetoric of American Prisons. He is also director of the university's Writing Center.
But no matter which hat he's wearing or with whom he's working, Whiddon is, in the end, a writing coach.
"Many students think that people are born writers—that it's a natural ability. And maybe there's some truth to that. But what most beginning writers need is honest yet supportive feedback—someone to play the role of audience, to ask questions, to help shape and contour the prose," he says.
As a strong advocate of the recursive nature of writing, Whiddon works to help students master each stage of the writing process. He also believes in giving them plenty of opportunities to practice the craft.
Whiddon considers himself "challenging but fair" and his program "rigorous."
"I fully expect my students to take risks with their writing. But, at the same time, I expect them to embrace the joy of writing," he says.
Outside the classroom—and inside, too—Whiddon has a strong interest in music. He has been an advisor to the university's student-run radio station, Radio TLX, and continues to support its endeavors.