Arts & Sciences


Jane Cantwell


Photo of Jane Cantwell running in a raceHello! My name is Jane (Evgueniia) Cantwell, and I was born in the former Soviet Union (Russia). I studied at Sverdlovsk Pedagogical Institute where I majored in German and minored in English. In 1991, I received a scholarship to study humanities at Shimer College in Illinois. After completing my Bachelor’s degree, I have earned a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago. I have worked at the College of Lake County in Illinois for 6 years and at WPCC for 11 years. Along with teaching curriculum classes (English, German, and Philosophy), I have taught at the Foothills Correctional Center, the Even Start program (GED/ESL), and worked as a writing tutor in the Academic Success Center. I think this wide range of educational and cultural experiences is my biggest asset. I love working with learners of different ages and backgrounds. It is amazing to discover how our differences bring out the underlying similarities.

I am excited about teaching writing because it helps students acquire analysis, research, and editing skills that will serve them well throughout their college careers. My teaching strategies emphasize discussion and class participation. I firmly believe that if students cannot think for themselves and articulate their thoughts, they cannot write well. Therefore, developing critical thinking skills is my first priority. My educational philosophy can be summed up by a quote from University of Chicago’s president Robert J. Zimmer: Colleges and universities “…cannot be viewed as a sanctuary for comfort but rather as a crucible for confronting ideas and thereby learning to make informed judgments in complex environments. Having one’s assumptions challenged and experiencing the discomfort that sometimes accompanies this process are intrinsic parts of an excellent education.” I agree 100%. I enjoy designing assignments that challenge students’ assumptions and help them become informed and involved citizens. I also like to integrate other subjects (psychology, sociology, etc.) into composition instruction in order to show students real-world applications of the skills they are learning.

I love to garden, hike, run, and lift weights in CrossFit. I have a wonderful husband and two college-age children who make me appreciate every day how lucky I am.


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