After being contacted by TWU within an hour of defending his dissertation, Dr. Russell Greer is now completing his 22nd year of teaching at TWU. Following this fall semester, Greer will be retiring, but because of his strong passion for writing, he will follow a modified retirement so he can teach three more fall semesters. Writing is his true passion and in Greer’s own words, “being a professor is writing, it’s a natural combination of my interest in reading and writing.”
Greer’s love and talent for writing started in high school where he was a part of a journalism program where he had his own column and won many awards. He later went off to college at the University of Georgia where he received his undergraduate degree in Journalism in 1979. After receiving his first diploma, he attended a Harvard University extension school and received his Masters in 1986 and then received his Ph.D. in English in 1996 from the University of Georgia.
His mentor, Dr. Ernest Buffkin, a former teacher of his, inspired Greer to follow his passions. He continued to stay in contact with Buffkin for many years after leaving his class. He would get lunch with his former teacher on a regular basis and formed a close bond with him. When he made his way from Georgia to Texas, he stopped by to say one last goodbye to Buffkin as they chatted about how Greer would be teaching British Literature here at TWU. Greer states that he “wouldn’t be here today without him.”
Greer shared some advice for students wanting to pursue a teaching career. His biggest tip is to take language classes. He believes that “you learn so much more about your own language when you’re studying another language. When you can think in two or three languages, your thinking becomes more complex.” Greer took many years of languages including Latin, German and Spanish.
Greer is a professor who truly believes in his students and wants to see them be successful. He believes even if a student is struggling that they still have time to turn it around. His students really do keep him positive while in class. Being at TWU for 22 years has shown him the potential the students have here. Greer said, “The positiveness that I sense is because there are so many women here engaged in leadership, and when you’re a leader, it’s very difficult to be negative.”
Greer has put in many years at TWU and has been successful throughout his life. After leaving TWU, there is no doubt that he will continue to inspire those around him and follow his passion for reading and writing.