Thursday, November 12, 2015

Welcoming our new advisor: Kristen Gentry!

Alpha Delta Epsilon would like to offer a big welcome to our new advisor as of fall 2015, Professor Kristen Gentry! Professor Gentry is the Director of the Creative Writing Department and teaching classes such as: Fiction Writing, Creative Nonfiction Writing, Hip-hop Literature, Reading as a Writer, The Short Story Cycle, and an INTD course on Black Girlhood. Professor Gentry grew up in Kentucky and received her undergraduate degree in Communication (focus on journalism) from the University of Louisville before going to Indiana University – Bloomington to earn her MFA in Creative Writing (focus on fiction).

At University of Louisville, Gentry was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi. Like many of the current active in ADE, Gentry wasn’t “gung-ho” about Greek Life from the start. In her junior year, one of the sisters was in her web design class and approached her about going to an event; as the smallest sorority on campus at the time, they were on continuous recruitment. Gentry attended the event at her friend’s request and found that “all the sisters were really nice and really enthusiastic, they were eclectic in a way that I didn’t expect a sorority to be eclectic. They didn’t haze and seemed cool so I said ‘I could get down with this’” and joined.

Professor Gentry arrived at the college in 2007, and this is her first semester as the Director of the Department. ADE sibling Meghan Barrett brought Gentry up as a potential new advisor for ADE in the spring of 2015 when the search began because “I’d had her twice for Creative Non Fiction Workshop already, and was planning on taking the course a third time with her. I’ve always really respected her – she’s passionate, really smart in a thoughtful way, and non-judgmental. Her class has always been one of my favorites, and I’ve always thought she was really fun.” Meghan expressed that Gentry was also the kind of mentor that would push the organization to be thoughtful about choices related to cultural and social competency.  Meghan said that “She’s very aware of the world, and engaged with understanding pressing social issues of our time. As a writer and a teacher, she knows how to get you engaged too.”

When asked why she agreed to sign on as advisor of ADE, Gentry said that the organization came highly recommended by Dr. Greenfield and her previous acquaintances with ADE siblings. Speaking of her role as advisor she said “one of the things I’m interested in is empowering women and making sure that women are supporting one another; that they have a voice and that they’re taking advantage of the opportunities available to them.” She understands her role as advisor extending beyond just mentoring the individual siblings of ADE, to mentoring the whole of the sorority. She says “even with some of the problems of Greek Life, sororities can still be a powerful force on campus… for illustrating the power of women and what women can do.”