Samantha Robinson-Adams: Nothing Is Black and White
“Transylvania’s liberal arts focus suited my needs as a student interested in learning as much as possible about as many subjects as possible.”
It was the inviting campus pictured in a Transylvania brochure that first intrigued Samantha Robinson-Adams ’08. After doing a little investigation, she discovered that Transylvania offered just the sort of liberal arts education she was looking for. Then she met the people on campus. And, as Robinson-Adams says, “the rest is history.”
Now a lecturer teaching English composition at Iowa State University, Robinson-Adams is quick to elaborate about the value of her Transylvania experience. “A liberal arts education has benefited me in literally every way. Every way. In my personal relationships, my writing, my reading, my ability to solve problems, my political activism, my creative endeavors, my marriage. Because of my broad educational background, I am able to approach every life situation knowing that there will be multiple viewpoints and angles from which to examine and solve a given problem. The most valuable lesson I learned at Transy is that there are no binaries in this world. That applies across the board, and I'm a better person for recognizing that.
“Being a liberal arts student even gave me an edge in getting a job at First National Bank. Other candidates lacked the eloquence, the critical reasoning, and the written communication skills necessary to work well with customers and co-workers.”
Robinson-Adams completed her M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State in 2011. The program matched her eclectic tastes perfectly. She was able to study environmental ethics, feminist philosophy, Buddhism, and American Indian religious traditions, as well as take fiction and nonfiction workshops. Her thesis was a nonfiction essay collection entitled Sanctuaries. Her work has also been published in both Umbrella Factory Magazine and Sketch Magazine.
Robinson-Adams enthusiastically acknowledges the role her Transylvania professors have played in her success. “My English and art history professors—Tay Fizdale, Anthony Vital, Kremena Todorova, and Nancy Wolsk in particular—prepared me for the kind of writing and critical thinking that would be required of me at Iowa State; but, more than that, they introduced me to ideas and ideals that will stick with me for a lifetime.
“My professors changed my life as much as they changed my knowledge base, and I can't thank them enough for that.”