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Professor Elaine Glenn teaches by experience

Elaine+Glenn+stands+in+the+atrium+in+front+of+the+Geography+Department.+She+looks+forward+to+teaching+Geography+of+Russia+in+the+Fall+of+2019.
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Professor Elaine Glenn teaches by experience

Elaine Glenn stands in the atrium in front of the Geography Department. She looks forward to teaching Geography of Russia in the Fall of 2019.

Elaine Glenn stands in the atrium in front of the Geography Department. She looks forward to teaching Geography of Russia in the Fall of 2019.

Elaine Glenn stands in the atrium in front of the Geography Department. She looks forward to teaching Geography of Russia in the Fall of 2019.

Elaine Glenn stands in the atrium in front of the Geography Department. She looks forward to teaching Geography of Russia in the Fall of 2019.

Cassandra Hays, Scene Editor

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Professor Elaine Glenn is well known within the geography department for traveling to different countries and bringing her experiences back to the classroom. Glenn teaches multiple sections of World Geography as well as upper division geography courses such as political geography, geography of Russia and geography of the Middle East.

Glenn was born in England and lived in Portugal and Africa, among other places, before moving to the United States for college when she was 21. Glenn attended Brigham-Young University in Provo, Utah, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in international relations with a minor in geography. She still has family in Portugal and England, whom she visits regularly, while her immediate family lives in Ellensburg with her.

Glenn’s hobbies include reading, quilting, scrapbooking and traveling. She travels frequently and applies her experiences to her teaching. In 2013, she got the opportunity to go to China and Russia and travel along the Trans-Siberian Railroad. This past year she went to Israel.

“I love combining my interest in the world with school. I go to places I teach about,” Glenn said. “Mostly I just love being able to talk about places in the world that are so interesting to me, and Central gives me that opportunity to travel and be able to share what I’ve learned with students.”

Glenn said her favorite places to teach about are Russia and the Middle East. She alternates teaching about these locations each fall quarter. For fall 2019, she will be teaching geography of Russia.

Glenn came to Ellensburg in 1991 and began teaching at CWU in 1992. Initially, she taught part-time with only one class during the evenings while she raised her family. When her youngest daughter was old enough to go to all-day kindergarten, she began to teach more classes. Glenn said she likes Ellensburg’s small-town feel and sense of community.

Glenn said she wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her college professors, who inspired her love for geography. Originally, she intended to pursue a degree in elementary education, but she quickly changed her mind after taking a few geography classes.

“There were a couple professors that I admired who put me on this path,” Glenn said. “I really loved my geography classes, so I went on to get a masters degree in geography.”

Glenn added that one professor in particular presented her with the opportunity to teach a class as a graduate student. This led her to her first teaching job at Cypress Junior College in Orange County, California, where she taught for five years before moving to Ellensburg to teach at CWU.

“Because I had already taught as a grad student, they were willing to give me a chance,” Glenn recalled.

Over the last 25 years, Glenn has seen many changes to CWU. She said the biggest difference is the way her teaching has changed with the introduction of new technologies.

“I think how we teach over time has changed and I think you have to adapt your teaching to engage your students, to keep them interested,” Glenn said. “Over 30 years we have gone from no digital to all digital. When I first came here we didn’t even have powerpoint.”

Glenn said she loves being part of the geography department in particular. Their welcoming attitude makes her feel like she is part of a family. She also notes that the secretary of the department does a great job making students feel comfortable.

“I think we have a really nice department here,” Glenn said. “I think it’s a nice sense of community in the department and I think we try really hard to help students with their schoolwork, but also to feel like they have a home.”

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