Eagle Pass Professor Brings Fantasy to Class

By Laura Nelson

From growing up in Austin and visiting relatives in El Paso with her Mexican/Guatemalan mother to attending university in the United Kingdom, Dr. Audrey Taylor's education and experience spans many cultures.

The Assistant Professor of English at Sul Ross State Univ. Rio Grande College in Eagle Pass earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creative Writing at Colorado State Univ. She wanted to study abroad and moved overseas to attend Swansea Univ. in Wales, graduating with a Master of Arts.

She loved living in the U.K. and studying fantasy literature, which is one of the genres she grew up reading. She stayed in the U.K. to continue her education at Anglia Ruskin Univ. in Cambridge. In addition to her studies, she taught university classes as an instructor rather than as a graduate assistant. After earning her Ph.D. in English, she returned to the United States, first to teach in Kentucky and then to Sul Ross in Eagle Pass.

Dr. Taylor happily returned to Texas and particularly likes living in the Hispanic culture. She feels she is fulfilling a need at Sul Ross and said, "I like seeing students improve and observe their writing becoming better." She went on to say that even though she only has them a short time, she gets to know them well. Most of her students are English majors or education students seeking 7-12 certification.

Taylor published her first book, Patricia A. McKillip and the Art of Fantasy World-Building in 2017, a peer-reviewed work used primarily in research. She is writing her second book on the late author Anne McCaffrey, who wrote the Dragonriders of Pern series and children's fantasy fiction. She remains active in her field, attending conferences, writing articles, and serving on panels.

She enjoys teaching different subjects such as English literature, young adult literature, creative writing and advanced composition and draws on her research to boost her instruction. She and Dr. Sally Roche form their own mini English department and collaborate on numerous professional endeavors.

Dr. Taylor and her rescue dog Gus are getting plenty of exercise these days and she looks forward to the time classes resume in person. Until then, she will provide outstanding virtual education with a side of fantasy.