How the English Department is adjusting to life in the newest building on campus
Dundon-Berchtold Hall opened its doors to students this week and held its first classes on Monday, finally fulfilling the demand for additional classroom space to meet the needs of the growing student population. Crews have been working through the summer to get the new building ready for classes this year, and thanks to their hard work, Dundon-Berchtold, or “DB” hall is officially open. Made possible by a donation from Amy Dundon-Berchtold and 1963 alumnus Jim Berchtold, the space provides 63,000 square feet of new classrooms, student lounges, conference rooms, and a lecture hall dedicated to the late author and long-time editor of UP’s Portland Magazine, Brian Doyle.
But the most exciting part of the new building for English faculty is the office space. On Thursday, August 15th, professors and staff made the move from the third floor of Buckley Center to the first floor of Dundon-Berchtold, bringing with them office supplies, furniture, art, boxes of files, personal knick knacks, and lots and LOTS of books. While they are getting used to everything from the fancy thermostat to the new view outside their windows, one of the most significant differences between the Buckley Center and DB Hall has been the amount of students who pass by their offices on their way to and from class. Once tucked away up three flights of stairs and a far distance from classroom space, the English hallway is now livelier than ever with the bustle of students who, the professors hope, will use this accessibility to visit their English professors’ office hours more often.
The staff is also excited about the height of the building’s walls and the “Hogwartsian aesthetic” of the space. Visiting for the first time, I could not help but be struck by the tall ceilings and vast amount of extra space in the new offices compared to the ones left behind in Buckley Center. Professors are also excited about the open layout of the classrooms, which, combined with the new technology, will make them especially conducive for working in groups. This will be a big plus for their classes, they predict, because of the significant role that peer-to-peer discussion plays in English courses. Additionally, these spaces will help cultivate the teamwork skills in students that employers value so much in the modern professional environment. Classrooms and offices aside, DB hall is jam-packed with other amenities for faculty and staff, like a brand-new, full-size kitchen in which to store and prepare meals. Students seem particularly taken with the building’s fancy bathrooms. Scroll down for a peek of the new digs!
Wondering where your professor is? Here’s a list of the new office numbers for the English Department faculty:
- Cara Hersh – Room 105
- John McDonald – Room 106
- Sarah Weiger – Room 107
- Cheri Buck-Perry – Room 108
- Patrick Hannon – Room 109
- Genevieve Brassard – Room 110
- Joshua Swidzinski – Room 111
- Molly Hiro – Room 112
- Lars Larson (chair) – Room 114