The AU Faculty Spotlight is a series that recognizes faculty members who promote student success in new and innovative ways.
Meet Professor Mario Barros, a faculty member in the ESOL Department who has helped his students learn through story writing. Learn more about him, and check out the class stories linked below.
Where are you from?
I was born in Cuba but lived in Boston, Massachusetts for 18 years before moving to Miami three years ago.
What are some of your hobbies?
I like to write humor. I have published a book of stories and a novel. I keep a humor website (SuiteHumor.com) and post daily sketches about living in Miami and other topics on Facebook. I am also a huge fan of Boston sports teams.
Where did you go to school?
I went to the University of Havana in Cuba for my B.A. in English Teaching. I got my M.A. in Applied Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.
How long have you been a professor at AU? What made you decide to become a professor here?
I have taught at AU since 2014. I applied for a teaching position in the ESOL program in the summer of that year and was accepted. Ever since then I have taught ESOL and undergraduate courses at the university. I love teaching at AU. It is a great environment -- my colleagues are wonderful, and the students are fantastic.
How has your story-writing assignment helped your students become successful at learning English?
The assignment was a challenge for my students. Most of them had never written fictional stories in English or their native languages, so they had to learn all the features of a short story first and then set out to write their own. In the end it was a very rewarding process for them. Needless to say, they learned a lot. And the stories are very good, too.
Professor Barros' class stories can be found here!
Do you know of a faculty member who is contributing to student success? Comment below!