Few people at Northwestern know the art of storytelling like Richard Sowienski. The English professor will speak on “story” in chapel on Friday, Sept. 16.
“Richard is a man who lives and breathes story,” said junior Shelby Vander Molen. “It only makes sense that he’d talk about it in chapel.”
Sowienski has seen many stories in his life. He holds an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and has extensive experience in the publishing industry. He has been an editor of several magazines, including Better Homes and Gardens, Raising Teens and Country America, as well as the literary magazine The Missouri Review.
The Sowienski story began a new chapter in the summer of 2009 when he moved with his wife to Orange City. Sowienski joined the NW faculty that fall and soon became a favorite of some students.
“One time in my Intro to Literature class he divided the classroom into Dutch and non-Dutch students in order for us to understand segregation,” said junior Jasmine Smith. “It was funny, but at the same time it was a smart way to help students know what it feels like to be a minority.”
When Sowienski isn’t in the classroom, he’s often sharing stories at his coffee shop, The Old Factory. Even there, with coffee in hand, the word-minded professor is often sharing some of his many experiences with students and friends.
“He tells amazing stories that are vivid and intriguing,” said sophomore Tiffany Hach, “He seems to have a story about everything.”