Paul Rogalus, Professor of English
Paul Rogalus, an English professor at PSU for 24 years, has found what he loves to do: serving students. He spends his days exposing them to his favorite classics in literature and film through courses including the Art of Film and Scriptwriting. Outside of the classroom, he helps students find their passion and get the most from their college experience through his work with numerous student organizations, including Poets & Writers, PSU’s student literary club; Mentoring Enhances Student Achievement (MESA), the English department’s peer mentoring program; and WPCR, the student-run radio station.
After earning his doctorate in English at Purdue University, Rogalus’s desire to return to New England, where he had earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, brought him to PSU. Early on, Rogalus was asked by students to take on the faculty advisor roles for both Poets & Writers and WPCR. With his love of reading, writing, and music, Rogalus was excited to get involved. “These organizations were a perfect match. My service is doing what I really love, and I get to help students get a full college experience,” he says.
Rogalus has been the advisor for Poets & Writers for 21 years, and although his responsibilities change from year to year based on the strengths and experience of the student-led staff, he has done it all: scheduling dates for open-mic nights, balancing the group’s budget, organizing poetry workshops, and selling advertisements for the organization’s biannual literary magazine, Centripetal, for which Rogalus also serves as a senior editor.
One of his most significant contributions in his advisory role for WPCR was to launch live-stream webcasting to reach a national audience. Now WPCR fans all over the world can tune into the station’s music, sports and talk shows. As a result, Rogalus’s responsibilities have expanded to include ensuring that students understand and comply with more complex FCC regulations.
The other organization Rogalus devotes his time to is MESA, which is composed of sophomore, junior, and senior-level English majors who serve as mentors to first-year and new English majors. MESA offers writing workshops, social events, schedule-advising nights, online support via instant messaging, and, thanks in large part to Rogalus’s efforts, community outreach. When he began co-advising MESA, Rogalus helped to establish and host writing workshops for elementary and middle school students at Campton Elementary School and the Pemi Youth Center.
Rogalus feels that the most important thing he has done through his service is help students make the most of their college experience by participating in student organizations. “Much of the growth a student experiences during his or her college career takes place outside of the classroom through student organizations that give them opportunities to try new things, find what they have a passion for, and develop skills not just for college, but for life.”
– Matthew Ormsbee ’15