Fiction writer Dr. Sadie Hoagland is an associate professor in the Department of English. She is the author of the novel “Strange Children” and the short story collection “American Grief in Four Stages.” She has also published work in The Alice Blue Review, The Black Herald, Mikrokosmos Journal, South Dakota Review, Sakura Review, Grist Journal, Oyez Review, Passages North, Five Points, The Fabulist, South Carolina Review and elsewhere.
Earlier this year, Hoagland was honored as an Outstanding Doctoral Mentor by the Office of the Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Economic Development for 2020-2021.
Developing the Professional Writer
The Ph.D. in English program at UL Lafayette leads to a generalist degree while offering courses for students to pursue specialized interests, including creative writing.
Students’ ability to “rise to their potential in their own specialty areas, but also explore other areas in the field as well — this is unique to our program,” Hoagland notes.
As a mentor, Hoagland works to help her students develop both as writers and professionals during their time in the program.
“Modeling good listening, observing before acting, not being too reactive to any given situation, and staying positive — this is all key advice in our field,” she says.
She also guides doctoral students to treat school as a job, “comporting oneself professionally, even when socializing with fellow students, but also setting up a schedule so that you can be as productive as possible. It's also a good time to start finding a place for your writing in your academic life,” she notes.
Guiding Student Success
Hoagland creates rewarding mentoring relationships with her doctoral students through regular meetings and an ongoing exchange of ideas.
“My goals as a mentor are to listen, to offer ideas and reading recommendations to students, and to encourage them to push the boundaries of their writing into new territories,” she says.
“I can bring my knowledge to the table, but I almost always leave with a new idea, a new perspective, and lots of book recommendations.”
These relationships continue to grow past graduation as her students explore new professional opportunities.
“I've been lucky to work with some amazing, talented writers and teachers. I am always proud and delighted when a student gets a job they are really excited about,” she says.
“Another big achievement is when a dissertation gets published eventually, and you get to see it in print — that's very rewarding.”