Humans of the Hilltop: Amy Eggert

Amy Eggert began teaching at Bradley 11 years ago. She is a member of the English department.
Photo by Cenn Hall

Bradley English professor Amy Eggerts experience at the university began at a young age and has been a part of her identity ever since.

According to Eggert, her passion for the Hilltop all started when she would travel with her father.

Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to come to Bradley, Eggert said. My dad used to play basketball tournaments here, and every so often, he would bring [me] with. I immediately fell in love with the campus, so I decided to pursue my undergraduate degree here and eventually stayed for my masters.

Although Eggert attended Illinois State University for her Ph.D. in English studies, she said she decided to return to Bradley to give back to the institution that molded her intellectual ability even though she didnt originally intend to study English.

Initially, I was a psychology major, Eggert said. I was, however, [interested in creative writing]. I learned, in a funny way, that in order to take creative writing classes just for fun I had to declare the creative writing minor to take the [upper level] courses. From there, I stuck with it and loved it.

By blending both her psychology and creative writing backgrounds, Eggert said she wrote her fiction book, Scattershot: Collected Fictions, inspired by her deep interest in trauma studies. Eggert utilized her Ph.D. to pull ideas from both fields of study for the book.

My specialization at Illinois State was trauma narratives, Eggert said. I worked with [post traumatic stress disorder], but also creative writing, [and] how to teach writing and literature. [I wanted to write the book] because Im interested in being an activist for PTSD. I think since most of the subject matter is so dark, people just want to avoid it, but I think it is important that we talk more about it.

After a lot of hard work, Eggert said her passion was achieved in 2015, when her book was published. Initially, she was surprised by the willingness of the publishing house.

I didnt believe it at first, since it isnt much of a mainstream topic, Eggert said. The woman who runs the small press is heavily invested in outside-the-margins work, so it was really cool and it has been really cool, even today, because Im able to go to readings and promote this idea of giving voice [of] trauma narratives to trauma survivors.

Eggert not only has experience in writing trauma narratives. She also works on developing relationships while at Bradley. As someone who has taught at Bradley for 11 years now, Eggert has earned high praise from faculty and students alike.

Junior accounting major Lindsey Kolkmeyer said she was grateful for the opportunity to have Eggert as an English professor during her freshman year.

You come into college with the notion that you already know how to somewhat write, Kolkmeyer said. Eggerts class went beyond what I expected, and she taught me skills in writing that I am using in my 300 level English class today. She is a great professor, and I would recommend taking her to anyone here on campus.

Eggert also works with students in the Writing Center. She has a long history there and she was promoted to director while completing her masters program. Eggert has continued to work there ever since.

What I like about Dr. Eggert is that she is very involved − she is go-getting and tries to see a problem and fix it, Anna Berlinger, an English masters student, said. Shell personally come to the office and ask us how things are going, if kids are coming on a regular basis, [and] she creates grammar handouts allowing us to focus more on students writing structure development, rather than grammatical issues. She is always personally trying to make things easier.

Rob Prescott, assistant dean of undergraduate studies and associate professor of the English department, said he has enjoyed watching Eggert move forward in her professional and academic careers.

I knew her first as an undergraduate student, and then I served as her academic advisor for her masters degree in English, Prescott said. When I was department chair for English, I was very happy I was able to have her teach for us as an affiliate faculty member and as director of the Writing Center for many years.

In addition to her teaching ability, Prescott said he also appreciates her as a coworker.

She is a great listener, has an amazingly open mind, Prescott said. Extremely knowledgeable but always very humble. She never assumes she has all of the answers, which makes her easy to collaborate with. She is always looking for alternative views or better decisions.