Work That Matters: Ryan Pettengill

The following article showcases a Mountain View College employee, the work they perform, and (more importantly) the meaning behind that work. This series is part of an effort to showcase the many great employees who contribute to teaching and learning efforts at MVC.

Posted on behalf of Ryan Pettengill, Ph.D. (Professor of History).


Working Towards the College Mission and Values

The article focuses on average Americans in a local setting. More specifically, it demonstrates how direct action in matters involving freedom and equality helped transform working class communities throughout the nation. It demonstrates an instance in the empowerment of communities and MVC “transforms” communities in a similar fashion.

Work That Matters

It gives me a great deal of pride to have published this piece. At the beginning of the process, the reviewers were very skeptical of its publication. But I was diligent and persistent. I went through numerous draft, networked with my history colleagues at MVC for suggestions, and even submitted a draft to the MVC Writing Center (and they were most helpful). The last thing the publisher wrote to me after informing me that it was to be published was “congratulations on preserving” in the publication process. So, I’m proud of my perseverance and especially proud of the MVC community’s connection to it.

Measurement of Success

Success is not instantaneous. It is a process. EVERY class I teach at MVC is a Writing Intensive Class. Before the paper is due, I often ask the class how many people have ever turned in a paper that was “hot-off-the-press.” At least half the class (including myself) raise their hands. It is a nice teachable moment where I can illuminate the writing process and explain that success will only come if they continuously work at it. It will not be easy, and it wasn’t for me either, but if you work hard, the payoff will come in short order.


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