English Professor Justin Haynes
-story by Kaitlyn Sewell '15
Randolph-Macon College English Professor Justin
Haynes believes in taking a multifaceted approach to teaching.
“The college generation today is sophisticated and cannot learn solely from lectures,”
Haynes shares. “I’ve learned to present students with multimedia pathways to learning.”
From showing clips of films based on classic novels to having students use online
sources, meeting students’ learning needs is a high priority. “We are reading Pride
and Prejudice in my Writing Women’s Lives class right now,” he says, “and
the film version has been tremendous in helping students understand the novel.”
The Road to R-MC
An upbeat, Brooklyn-bred English enthusiast, Haynes was first exposed to the closely-knit
R-MC community when he visited campus for a job interview. “After I taught a mock
class, I asked students, ‘Is there anything else I can do for you?’” Haynes recalls.
“A student in the back raised his hand and responded, ‘Yea, come back and teach
some more!’ It made my day, and I knew I was where I wanted to be.”
Haynes teaches a wide range of courses, including
Creative Writing, English 185,
and Post-1950 African & Carribean
Literature. Tracilyn Babington ’14, a
sociology major and English/writing
minor, took Haynes’ Creative Writing and Creative Non-Fiction course.
“One of Professor Haynes’ teaching strengths is his ability to get students thinking,”
she says. “He allows students to be creative with assignments, and is helpful during
the editing process.”
This year, Haynes is teaching a First-Year Experience (FYE)
course with Art History Professor
Evie Terrono. “Within this course, Resistance and Perseverance: African
American Identities in Art and Literature from the Civil War to Civil Rights, I
am able to learn from Professor Terrono’s pedagogical style and the thoughtful manner
in which she interacts with students,” Haynes says. “We have structured the course
so that our topics intersect at specific and crucial historical moments. We hope
that it allows students to develop a holistic vision of African American art, history,
Haynes feels that one of the best aspects of the FYE program is his role as advisor.
“I have met with my students individually, and have been impressed by each of them
for different reasons,” he says.
Chelsea Deaton ’17 has learned much from the FYE course.
“Professor Haynes has done a great job teaching the material objectively and without
a bias,” Deaton explains. “Having both Professor Haynes and Professor Terrono as
instructors has allowed me to see a different perspective of African American literature.”
A Curious Mind
Time out of the classroom is time well spent for Haynes. “I like to be in the library,
getting into stacks and browsing,” says Haynes, who enjoys reading fictional classics
in his spare time. “And outside of work, I’m usually exploring Richmond. It’s a
funky city, and I’m still figuring it out, but it’s been treating me well.”
Haynes earned his B.A. at St. Francis College, his M.F.A. at University of Notre
Dame, and his M.A. and Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University. He joined the faculty in