Selected Student Feedback

"Truly, having Alexander Menrisky as a teacher this semester was one of the best experiences I’ve had during my education here at the University of Kentucky, and I’m appreciative of all the effort he put into teaching my class."

—Joshua Lincoln, Technical Writing Student, 2016

As a scholar of American literature, I am captivated by the representations of nature and authenticity that have undergirded the identity narratives—along lines of nation, race, gender, and so forth—that have contributed to our cultural record over time. As a queer environmental humanist, I am also acutely aware of the ways in which “nature” has been wielded, even in that very literature, against people like me. My goal as a scholar and teacher is to capture, examine, and learn from this very sort of tension in my research, as well as to guide students through doing so in my classroom. In the process, we gradually, collaboratively create a humanities that is more inclusive of perspectives that have been elided throughout history.

 

Both my professional and personal background inspire my dedication to the success of all of my students, as well as to a curriculum that introduces them to the work of marginalized communities. My relatively scarce exposure to such material as a queer undergraduate has contributed to my decision to pursue a career as a professor of literature who is mindful of these experiences. To that end, I am especially committed to mentoring young queer scholars and scholars of color, such that they might in turn influence the rapidly expanding scope of our profession.

Students recorded the following comments in end-of-semester evaluations. (Courses organized by last date of instruction.)

Studies in Literature (ENL 200)

  • “Wow. This professor is absolutely the best non major professor I have ever had. I am a bio major, and English really is not my forte. I took this course to complete my last English requirement and I could not be happier that I chose it. I never thought I could love and actually enjoy an English class, but Menrisky completely flipped that around. His compassion for his topic, his encouragement for participation and different ideas, and especially his understanding and kindness toward us during this confusing and difficult remote learning period.”

  • “I am not an English major, and I am not someone who ever considered English my strongest subject, but the whole class was a very effective learning experience. Professor Menrisky was always very clear about his expectations for us and our work, and after the coronavirus shut down, he would always email and let us know that we could come to him for help in any way we needed. He was very understanding about the needs of students during these hard times, and he made it so that we could still learn effectively without it being a burden on our mental well-being. Out of all my professor, I believe that Professor Menrisky was the best at handling the situation, and I am grateful for what he was able to do during these times and even before remote teaching.”

  • “Wonderful professor, cares about his students and puts them first. He responds back to your work very fast, adds insight . . . His class is very smooth and it shows he wants his students to succeed while understanding the content.”

 

Critical Writing & Reading (ENL 102)

  • “I loved this course, Professor Menrisky is amazing, and probably my favorite professor I have had so far. This class has a good amount of work, but I think that it was extremely helpful. I really enjoyed this class.”

  • “Out of all professors I have had at Umass Dartmouth so far, Professor Menrisky has been by far the most engaging, easy to listen to, and very thorough professor.”

  • “Overall was a great teacher who provided me with the help and answered every question I would ask to his full extent.”

  • “Provided clear instructions during transition into remote learning; the best job done by any of my teachers . . . really helped and made me feel like I was learning and understanding just as much as in face to face class.”

  • “Professor Menrisky was very organized and very helpful, especially during the remote learning experience. He was very flexible with due dates/times and he was supportive.”

  • “DR. MENRISKY IS A GREAT PROFESSOR! I feel like a much better writer after taking this class thanks to him.”

 

Survey of American Literature (ENG 251)

  • “Menrisky guided class discussion well, and led me to think more about our texts, almost always in a way that helped me to understand the text better (or to understand the text at all if I had previously been lost or confused). He struck a great balance of professionalism, humor, and treating us as real people in our discussions.”

  • “Menrisky . . . has always been available for students to reach out to, has always been extremely respectful and kind towards his students, and (perhaps most importantly) has demonstrated an impressive knowledge of literature which he has been able to communicate to students. Furthermore, not only has he been wonderful in communicating knowledge, but in communications in general as he is available for students to discuss grades, resolve problems, and has simply been wonderfully kind and respectful towards his students.”

 

Advanced Composition & Communication (WRD 112)

  • “Nearly every aspect of this course seemed very helpful to me. I have been able to apply what I’ve learned in this class to my other classes, which I think is the point. I have learned a lot about writing and argumentation from this course.”

  • “Menrisky was good at asking questions that provoked group discussion, and he was a good facilitator of that discussion, knowing when to move on and knowing when to add in something himself.”

 

Technical Writing (WRD 204)

  • “He was very engaging, not humorless nor condescending, and he was very knowledgeable about the subject matter. Additionally, he utilized each class period's entire time in an effective manner and any explanations were very clear. I'm not sure I would change anything as far as teaching style.”

  • “Best writing teacher I’ve ever had.”

 

Online Courses

  • “I feel that the professor really keeps up with all of the students even though it's an online course. He grades quickly and fairly, and he gives GREAT feedback on what you did a really good job on and things that you can improve or even recommendations and things to think about. I really enjoyed having him as the professor to this class and loved his feedback! It really helped to have all his feedback in improving my work, and I felt very encouraged. I believe he has been the best professor I have had who gave the greatest feedback for any course.”