Profile: Thomas Moriarty

Thomas Moriarty

Thomas Moriarty, Professor of English and Writing across the Curriculum Director
Department of English and Comparative Literature

Where were you before coming to SJSU?

I was at Salisbury University in Maryland for twelve years before coming to San José State. I directed the Writing Across the Curriculum program at Salisbury, helped design the undergraduate major in Writing and Rhetoric, and even served as department chair for a year.

Tell us something about your personal life, such as your family or your interests outside of work.

I enjoy hiking, traveling, and exploring new places with my wife, Loren, as well as drinking good wine and eating new and interesting food. I also like to play golf (though not very well) and play the drums.

Why are you excited to be here?

I’m excited about being part of a group of people who are building innovative programs. There seems to be a lot of positive energy around the writing program in particular, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to make a small contribution to it.

What do you enjoy about teaching?

I like interacting with students—hearing their stories, working with them on their projects, talking to them about their writing, and seeing them grow as writers. Learning how to write well empowers a person, in both their professional and civic lives, and it’s wonderful to be a part of that process.

What do you enjoy about being a specialist in your field?

The glamour and social prestige, of course. Whenever folks find out I’m an English professor, they always treat me special. Folks sitting next to me on airplanes always promise to watch their grammar, for example. They don’t do that for just anyone.

Actually, I like how the field of writing and rhetoric looks at the production, interpretation, and circulation of texts—how people create texts and what those texts “do” in the world.

Please give us a quote that sums up your personal, educational, creative, or scholarly philosophy.

Have passion for what you’re doing and love the people you know.