Richard Sowienski is one of the new additions to the Northwestern English Department faculty. Currently he is teaching College Writing and Introduction to Literary Studies, but his true passion lies in creative nonfiction, a class he hopes to teach in the spring semester.
Sowienski and his wife, Rola, both Sioux City natives, never thought they would return to Northwest Iowa, but they are excited to be here. After completing his Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Iowa, he kept his eye out for positions at Christian colleges. He now knows Northwestern is where God wants him to be. “ It was a great interview process,” said Sowienski. “Everyone was so welcoming and reassuring.”
Teaching will be a nice change of pace for Sowienski, who is changing careers after working as the managing editor for the Missouri Review, a literary magazine published through the University of Missouri. Before his employment at the Missouri Review, he spent twenty years as the parenting and education editor of Better Homes & Gardens magazine.
Although he has a diverse professional background, Sowienski seems to be acclimating well to NW life. “I love that I can ride my bike anywhere,” he said. He no longer has to battle the treacherous traffic of Columbia, MO. In addition to biking, he also enjoys being an amateur photographer and doing darkroom work.
True to Granberg style, he loves his coffee strong. His favorite office memento is the County Agents Directory coffee mug that was a salesperson freebee during his first year at Meredith Corporation. “It’s a coffee mug that’s gone through many offices.”
Although his transition has been a self-described “whirlwind,” Sowienski is looking forward to his time at NW. He has enjoyed seeing how the NW faculty cares deeply about their students and has been moved and touched by their stories. “I am looking forward to being able to make a difference in students’ lives, “ Sowienski said. “To be a part of it would be a great blessing.”