Molly Mangels was recognized as a Top 100 Student at Ball State in the Spring of 2023. Mangels is an English Education major who greatly values the time she had in classes related to her major. She intends to utilize her degree through her teaching career by promoting inclusivity in the classroom.

How has being a Top 100 Student impacted how you view your work while at Ball State?

I did not know much about the Top 100 program until the Top 100 was announced my Junior year. I had always been dedicated to my studies and to being involved on campus. I hoped that being in the Top 100 my Senior yearPhoto of Molly Mangels would allow me to celebrate the accomplishments and hard work I had experienced in my four years at Ball State. I do feel that being a recipient has made my dedication worthwhile.

How has your time in the English Department been worthwhile to you?

My time in the English Department has been incredibly worthwhile. I have greatly appreciated the connections I have had the opportunity to make with professors and classmates. The conversations we have had about literature and writing have made me even more appreciative of the valuable texts we interacted with. In my time here, the English Department has been incredibly inclusive, always championing the works of authors of varying races, sexual orientations, genders, political affiliations, cultures, etc. I plan to continue this practice in my own classroom.

Do you have a moment from your time in the English Department that sticks out to you as the most beneficial?

One moment from my time in the English Department that sticks out to me as particularly beneficial took place in ENG 395, with Dr. Jeff Spanke. The class was entirely for English Education majors, so traditionally in that type of class, we would focus entirely on texts and teaching methods. However, Dr. Spanke always emphasized that being a teacher, while being an aspect of our identity, was not our entire identity. We will always be people who have hobbies, interests, loved ones, and plans outside of our occupation. We were assigned to create a tangent on something that we were interested in, completely separate from English. It was fun for me to have the opportunity to teach something completely separate from the English lessons I had regularly been creating.

What lessons do you think you’ll take into account for your future plans?

The most important plans I am taking from the English Department are being carried over into my teaching. I want all of my students, from varying backgrounds, to be able to find elements and characters to identify with in our readings. I will introduce literature written by authors from a variety of backgrounds and cultures.

Do you have any advice for future students who may pursue an English degree?

My advice for students wanting to pursue an English degree is to absorb as much as possible! So much reading and writing is done on the pursuit of an English degree. It could be easy for all of the work to blur together, but it is important to recognize the importance of each text.

Please visit Ball State University for more information and learn more about our past Top 100 Students.