Bronco Spotlight: Sarah Montgomery-Richards
Adjunct Faculty, Philosophy Department and Communications Department at Northwestern Michigan College
I am a proud instructor of Comparative Religion and English at Northwestern Michigan College. For the college I teach Eastern and Western Religions both face to face and online, as well as an introductory English composition course. Additionally, I work with the college’s International Student Service Learning Department to lead study abroad opportunities related to religion and culture, and religion in the public sphere. I’ve had the opportunity to take students to Ireland (2018 and an upcoming trip in 2020), and India (2018 and 2019). I also serve as the faculty advisor for the Global Citizenship and Religion student group, and have participated in the 2015 and 2018 Parliament of the Worlds Religion.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is equally the most challenging. I am passionate about providing the opportunity for my students to learn about and experience the incredible variety of diverse religious perspectives that exist. This can be difficult in Northern Michigan. I am fortunate to have had the strong foundation provided by WMU’s Comparative Religion Department in undergrad and graduate school to prepare me to be resourceful and creative in this regard. Several things make this all worthwhile and beyond rewarding: the moment when a student “gets” a challenging concept, when a student recognizes the importance of understanding the ways in which individuals orient differently relative to religion, or when they elevate the importance of a knowledge base in Comparative Religion as vital to responsible and productive global citizenship.
What experiences impacted the choice of your career path?
I was fortunate to have studied with legends in my field. When I was at WMU as an undergrad and as a graduate student, the Comparative Religion department boasted the best and the brightest. The personal attention and investment that they made in us as students made us who we are today. Through exceptional classroom experiences and opportunities to engage outside the classroom, we were provided with the knowledge base and real world interactions that encouraged us to be the best we could be.
What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?
Enroll in WMU’s Comparative Religion Department!