Faculty Spotlight: Donna Coffey

Dr. Donna Coffey is an Associate Professor of English at Reinhardt University and is held by many students as one of the most compassionate teachers they’ve ever had. Dr. Coffey’s formal education began with her Bachelors at the College of William and Mary. She later received her masters from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Pine Manor College. She received her Ph. D. from the University of Virginia.

Reinhardt University Sophomore Vanessa Irie commented on her class:

“She is very passionate about teaching and leaving an impact on her students. No matter which class of hers you take, you’ll come out a better critical thinker, especially about the instances occurring in your own life.”

Dr. Coffey teaches classes covering content about Creative Writing, Women’s Literature, Modernism and Environmental approaches to Literature. Dr. Coffey has been teaching at Reinhardt for over a decade and has been Director of the Honors Program since 2011. Since she’s been at Reinhardt, she’s been awarded the United Methodist Exemplary Teaching Award (2004) and the Faculty Research /Scholarship Award (2007). An accomplished writer, Dr. Coffey work has appeared in the Calyx, Prime Mincery and The Comstock Review. She has even published a book, Fire Street.

“What made me think I was a god? Renovating children

Like fixer-upper houses. The rose was a contract I kept

and broke. When they moved in, I said neither yes nor no.


I bought more food. These were not the children I had

planned. Chimborazo is a volcano in Ecuador. I learned

this from an Emily Dickinson poem. She knew before I did.


Every white house is hiding something red.”


(Excerpt from Fire Street poem “Chimborazo Park.”)

The book, a collection of poems, details the previous life of Dr. Coffey.  It vividly relives stories from her childhood as well as depicting the relationship developed between her and two impoverished children she loved as her own.

A great professor, advisor, writer, and human being, anyone at Reinhardt, freshman or upper-class men, should be sure to take one of her classes. If not enlightened by her teachings, one can expect a good time with class discussions sparked by literary analysis and philosophical musings.


Leon Sapp, Staff Writer





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