Courtney Wilder | Faces of Midland Employee Edition
Best of Both Worlds
As a student in college, Courtney Wilder came to the realization she wanted to be in front of the classroom someday.
“I was confident by the time I was 20 that I wanted to teach and read as much as I could, and higher education seemed like the best of both worlds.”
For the past 15 years, Courtney has been living out that vision as Professor of Religion at Midland. She has relished the opportunity to educate and interact with students, especially at a place like Midland. “One of the great things about teaching at Midland is that I can design and offer new courses as things change in my field, or in response to student requests. My students are consistently thoughtful and curious and often have points of view that I haven’t considered before. I really enjoy reading text with them and having conversations in class. I love it when students have something really powerful to say about a book we’re reading, or ask a question that I’ve never thought to consider, or help a classmate see something in a new way.”
She is fortunate to have an outstanding rapport with students, and is blessed to feel that same connection with fellow faculty and staff members. “My colleagues are great. There are a lot of thoughtful, intelligent, and caring people that I get to collaborate with on projects, which I love. I think of a project like the Warrior Open Cupboard, where a few people started talking about what to do when students experience food insecurity, and that developed into a really good resource on campus for students.”
When not in a classroom, Courtney enjoys being in tune with nature. Whether that means a ride on her scooter, spending time in her garden, or working on her 100-year old house, she takes advantage of the opportunity to be outdoors. “My kids are both in college now, so my parenting looks a little different than it did when they were little. If I wasn’t a professor, I’d like to own a native plant nursery and write in my free time. I’ve learned a lot in the last decade about creating a garden that sustains the native insect population.”
Wilder feels fortunate she got to pursue an opportunity that has always been a passion to her. She’s also thankful for the people along her journey who helped her achieve that goal, and wants Midland students to take advantage of those same opportunities. “Come to class, ask for help when you need it, and remember that everyone here has the same goal for you that you have for yourself. We want to see you graduate from college.”
Getting to know Courtney Wilder:
Something people might not know about you: I keep bees. I have a beekeeper outfit and harvest honey and everything!
Snack that you can’t resist: Anything salty.
When flipping channels, I’ll always stop to watch this: Great British Bake-Off.
What artist dominates your playlist? It’s a tie between Neko Case and The Mountain Goats.
What is your ideal vacation? I went to Puerto Rico a few years ago and it was perfect. There’s the beach, mountains, big cities and small towns, and lots of great food.
What is your most used emoji? Laugh until I cry 🤣