Employee Spotlight-Smith

Shawn Smith | English and Philosophy Instructor | Serving SIC since 2005

Shawn Smith



A.A. Southeastern Illinois College 
B.A. University of Evansville  M.A. Washington University in St. Louis
M.A. University of Dallas
Ph.D. University of Dallas


What other positions have you held at SIC?

I was an adjunct English instructor at SIC after earning my M.A. at Washington University.

What other positions have you held prior to SIC?

I have also taught at the University of Dallas, the University of Southern Indiana, and Oklahoma Baptist University.

What is your favorite memory at SIC?

As a student at SIC, I remember working on a theater production in Dr. Rice's Theater 121 class. I also recall Gary Allen's debate class and George Dennis's philosophy classes. It was in George Dennis's Social/Political Philosophy class that I first read all of Plato's Republic, and I'm grateful for that opportunity.

What does SIC mean to you?

Opportunity. The opportunity for any student to develop what John Henry Newman calls "a habit of mind. . . which lasts through life, of which the attributes are freedom, equitableness, calmness, moderation, and wisdom" (see Newman's The Idea of a University, published in 1852).

What do you do in your spare time?

I like to watch baseball, hockey, and classic movies (especially from the silent era). I enjoy listening to classical and jazz guitar (Charlie Byrd and Django Reinhardt are favorites). I study the Bible and read great essayists such as Samuel Johnson and G. K. Chesterton. Over the last few years, I've read Wendell Berry's novels. For more humorous reading, I have enjoyed P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster stories.

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?

William Shakespeare, Samuel Johnson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, C. S. Lewis, and Flannery O'Connor.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever heard? 

Samuel Johnson's advice on reading and writing: "The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading, in order to write: a man will turn over half a library to make one book."

G. K. Chesterton's advice on perspective: "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered."

C. S. Lewis's advice on pursuing wisdom: "Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered."

St. Paul's advice on life in general: "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Philippians 4:8).