Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Deborah Conway, PhD Myth 2013
Who is Dr. Deborah Conway de Prieto? Tell us about Your Work
I am privileged to teach Mythology in Literature at California State University at Los Angeles as well as working for the CSULA English Composition Program and teaching at the College of Professional and Global Education and working as Educational Consultant and Editor of the Hawaii Institute of Molecular Education
I most recently was honored to speak at the Joseph Campbell Foundation’s Round Table in relationship to Early Modern Literature, feminine writing and mythology.
How/Why did you get into this line of work?
With the PhD in Mythology with an Emphasis in Depth :Psychology and graduate degrees in Composition Theory and Renaissance Literature I began teaching at CSULA 6 years ago, which was my goal: To give back to the community to engage education and to teach and mentor students.
What is most rewarding about it; what makes it all worthwhile?
The most rewarding part of teaching is giving back to the community of learners seeing success happen in real-time right in front of you as students engage in active learning and student centered class rooms.
What are the most critical problems faced?
If you mean with respect to my own personal goals, attaining the PhD from Pacifica’s Myth Program helped me understand the very nature of group and personal dynamics at the very core. Due to such creative, inviting and mentoring atmospheres at PGI of both the faculty, staff and the added campus beauty I sincerely engaged my personal goals through an in depth critical focus resulting in further achievements in higher education.
Has there been a defining moment your life that made you decide to take the direction that they did?
I was attaining a Master Degree at California State University East Bay in English Literature and Composition Theory when a dear Professor, Dr. Debbie Barrette-Graves, stated we must watch Joseph Campbell’s six films. I thought, at the time, it was a lot of extra work on top of all the reading to be viewed in the library, but when I began watching the documentaries on the hero journey emotions welled up inside and I began to cry, because I had a sort of epiphany that touched my very soul; and I knew I had to know much more about Joseph Campbell to perhaps engage who we are and why we are here.
If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you, what would be your “dream” achievement?
Attaining the PhD from PGI while being privileged to teach a multicultural population at CSULA delving further into mythologies from around the world while helping students achieve their personal educational goals through educational mentoring and the teaching and sharing environment. I’m enjoying working with amazing colleagues who are giving and helpful. I’m looking forward to continued learning and further engagement with the educational community.
How do you keep a healthy work/life balance?
I have the outside interest of painting, sculpting and carving in mixed medias for over 35 years and selling my works of art which are of saints and angels. I also taught dance for many years and try to move through space as much as possible.
About Pacifica and You –
What brought you to Pacifica?
The program was engaged in the Humanities and it was on Mythology! That was the most important aspect, and it brought me home to the Los Angeles area and to the beauty of Santa Barbara County where I’m meant to be. When I saw the campus and heard, in depth, about the program, I instantly knew it was the place I wanted to spend the next 3 years!
How has your Pacifica degree served you professionally in your occupation or your vocation?
Due to the degree I’m now teaching Mythology in Literature as well as the material I wrote about in my dissertation: Dreams. I address feminine writing, dreams and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz an early modern writer from New Spain. I have stayed within my Renaissance and early modern literature interests 100 % and teach exactly what I’m interested in.
How has your degree served you personally?
It has served me in all ways possible. I have great confidence from my degree and live in deep appreciation of all the wonderful peers and faculty I have met that serve as guides and educational mentors along my way. It has been the most enriching personal experience I have ever attained and I’m very proud to share that with you.
Any last thoughts/a favorite quote?
“Those who hear not the music think the dancers mad” (attributed to philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche).