Curious Alumni: Becky Zavada

Photo Credit:
by Nichole Brady October 16, 2019

Dr. Becky Zavada — 2013 graduate, assistant professor of philosophy and English at Wayne State College, teaching and research.

What sparked your interest in your major(s) or area(s) of study?
When I was in high school I had to go to catechism classes as part of my religious education. I had lots of questions. I got into an especially heated discussion with one of my teachers about free will and got kicked out of class. As a result I had to go talk to the person in charge of the classes. She told me that I should forget about all my questions for now and said that when I got to college all my questions would be answered. She wasn't right about that, but my questions caught the attention of one of my theology professors, and after getting to know me he suggested that I might like philosophy. So at his suggestion I took some philosophy classes and fell in love.

What are the value(s) of your areas of study?
"Philosophy is important because it helps you think clearly and rationally through all the complex and connected ideas you will encounter in academic life and life in general."

How did you get to where you are now and how did your education help?
Teaching is an important part of the work I do. During my time at UNL as a teaching assistant, I got to see the teaching styles of almost all of the professors in my department. Observing different approaches to teaching helped me to develop my own effective teaching style. I have many diverse interests which is why philosophy is a good fit for me. Philosophy examines the underpinnings and claims of every discipline. The wide variety of topics that can be explored philosophically has helped me to develop courses that keep me engaged with the profession while focusing on my teaching.