Quinnipiac Professor Still Has Passion for Teaching Literature a Half-Century Later
Walmsley, Ebony, New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)
HAMDEN » After 50 years of walking into a classroom, English professor Leonard Engel of Quinnipiac University still finds comfort there, even solace during occasional hard times.
Engel has taught literature at the university for five decades and doesn't have any plans to retire soon.
"I enjoy the classroom experience and still discovering the neat things about literature," Engel said.
At Quinnipiac, Engel teaches courses that include American Literature, Faulkner and Literature, Literature of the Modern South and the American Dream.
But he didn't always want to pursue literature as a career. Engel originally wanted to study music and play the drums.
An alum of Rutgers and Fordham universities, Engel taught high school in East Hartford for three years before accepting a job at Quinnipiac in 1964.
He said encouraging students to appreciate literature is what he enjoys most about the job.
"Especially the ones that don't like literature, getting them to start enjoying it is what I love," he said.
It's those students that keep the English professor around for so long.
"The students are wonderful and fun. As long as it stays fun, I'm going to continue to stay around for a while," Engel said.
Teaching has been there for Engel during difficult times as well. Two years ago, Engel's youngest son died during a hiking accident at Sleeping Giant State Park. …