Alumni, Nina Benegas

Nina Batt, M.A. ’18 graduated from Loyola Marymount University’s English M.A. Program with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition. She worked as a Teaching Fellow, helping to teach courses to first-year undergraduate students at LMU. Batt has presented her literary work at multiple conferences, as well as won the English Department's Professional Development Award for her research at LMU. Batt is current a professor at University of La Verne.

We asked her about her time in the English Graduate Program and beyond:

Q: What were the academic highlights, achieved both within and outside of the university, of your time at LMU? Conferences, publications, awards? 

A: I’m fortunate to have now attended LMU twice, once in the English Department and once in the School of Education. As an English MA student, I presented papers at four conferences, three domestic and one international. That was a highlight not only because of the travel, but also and especially because of the academic and scholastic experience that would end up helping me later as a doctoral student. During my time in the School of Education, there were few, if any, in-person conferences due to the pandemic, so I’m grateful for that time I had as an MA student because my professors encouraged me to attend these conferences and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to gain that invaluable experience later on because of COVID. Another notable highlight was an article that LMU’s Dr. Stuart Ching and Dr. Jan Pataray-Ching from Cal Poly Pomona invited me to co-author with them while Dr. Ching was my capstone advisor. The publication process can be very slow and, to be honest, I had forgotten about the article altogether except for the occasional, “don’t worry, it’s coming!” email from the editor. Five years after I wrote my contribution, I was Google-ing my name (as one does after they publish their dissertation) and there it was: the book with the article! I bought five copies on Amazon and gave them to my family as birthday gifts. 

For awards, I received the English Department's Professional Development Award for Significant Research Contribution at the end of my second year.

Q: What are you doing at the moment in your current job?

A: I am an Assistant Professor and the Faculty Fieldwork Coordinator in the Teacher Education Department at the University of La Verne. I teach our teacher credential candidates and I manage our University Supervisors, retired teachers we hire to observe and mentor our credential candidates during their fieldwork experiences. I match our students with their professors and then I am the point person for those pairings: I provide resources, create professional development opportunities, and mediate the relationships when necessary. I am enjoying the balance between teaching and administrative responsibilities. It tests all my skills, all at once, every day.  

Q: What are your future academic or professional plans? 

A: Currently, I am a non-tenure-track professor, which means I am full-time faculty, but I am not eligible for tenure. In practice, what this means is that, aside from my teaching and administrative responsibilities, the university does not require me to perform acts of service for the school or to publish. Not having these additional requirements is perfect for me at this time in my life because, aside from working full time, I also care for my 8-month-old son (another full-time job, as any parent will tell you). I was looking for a job that would keep me on track with my career while also affording me the flexibility necessary to be a mom, and I found that position at University of La Verne. That being said, my goal is more publications (currently I am working on an article and a book prospectus) so that when my son is a bit older and a tenure-track position opens up, I will be in the best position to apply.