The Professor Chronicles: Catherine Bourland Ross
January 28, 2021
January 28, 2021
How long have you been teaching?
In 1995, I started teaching as part of my M.A. program at the University of Kansas. I started at SU in 2005, after teaching at the University of Texas, Texas Christian University, and the University of North Texas.
What inspired you to become an educator?
My first experience teaching a class was at the University of Kansas. While I was completely unprepared for what teaching a class meant, I loved it. It’s fun to watch students move from knowing no Spanish to becoming proficient in speaking it, and I enjoy sharing my love for the Spanish language, Spain, and Spanish culture with my students.
How has teaching transformed you?
I hope that teaching has made me more open-minded. As a university faculty member, you come across all kinds of people, including colleagues and students, and these experiences that are outside my normal social interactions help me grow as a person and as a community member.
What is something your students would be surprised to know about you?
The students who know me well probably wouldn’t be surprised, but I own about 80 or 90 pairs of shoes. My goal is to never wear the same pair of shoes twice to the same class.
When not working, you can find me …
with my family. We love spending time together, traveling, bingeing a series on Netflix, or playing board games.
If you could have a drink at the Cove with anyone in the world, living or dead, whatwould the beverage be, who would the person be, and why?
I would love to talk to the Spanish movie director Icíar Bollaín. She started out as an actor and moved into directing, and she has directed some excellent movies, such as Te Doy Mis Ojos and También la Lluvia. I would invite her to a drink (can we imagine you can get a good Spanish wine at the Cove?) and ask her about the process of making movies in Spain. If you haven’t seen one of her films, you should. (You can find También la Lluvia on Netflix.)
Describe your dream vacation.
My dream vacation would be a week at a beach in a Spanish-speaking country, with delicious food and drinks, my family, and lots of down time to relax and read.
If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation. While I love to travel, I hate the process of traveling—driving, flying, traffic, security. I would love to be able to blink and arrive at my destination.
What advice would you give students going into your field today?
Make connections. The relationships you have with faculty and other students in undergrad and grad school make a huge difference as you start in this field. Ask for help when you need it.