Duane Stoltzfus

Duane Stoltzfus
Duane Stoltzfus

Professor of Communication

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As a copy editor at The New York Times, Duane Stoltzfus seemingly had it all. But when Goshen College offered Duane a position as a professor of communications in 2000, he couldn’t refuse. Read how Duane came to Goshen and why he loves it here!

What drew you to teaching at GC?  

My experience as an undergraduate at GC was transforming, in part because of my Study-Service Term (SST) in Costa Rica and in part because of faculty members who became mentors and friends. I knew then, as an undergraduate, that if ever I became a professor, I would want to return to Goshen College to teach. In 2000, that door opened (and through a faculty grant a few years ago, I was able to return to Costa Rica to sharpen my Spanish and visit with my host family in Cartago).

What do you love most about teaching GC students?

GC students often possess a rare blend of empathy and humility, which, combined with their intelligence and other attributes, makes for ideal learners. This is especially apparent when they cross borders for SST. They walk softly and listen well. But their good qualities are also evident in the classroom in Goshen. When I think of GC students, I think of young people determined to spread fruits of the spirit around the world.

What excites you about the field of communications?

Communication is incredibly dynamic. When I started teaching in 2000, neither YouTube nor Facebook (nor Twitter, nor LinkedIn) had been created. These communication technologies have reshaped our world in that short time. The speed and breadth of change can be exciting. But I also like that I can choose to put away devices and limit screen time without sacrificing my credentials in the field of study.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your academic work?

I spend a lot of free time on campus. I’m a faithful runner on the athletic fields, logging 4-5 miles at the close of each work day. In the evenings we often take in concerts, plays and sporting events. My wife and I are convinced that we attend more cultural events in Goshen than we ever did when living in New York and New Jersey, where the combination of work and commuting often left us too tired to go out.

How does the college’s vision (international, intercultural, interdisciplinary and integrative) connect or shape your teaching and work?

The college’s vision enables us to spend a full year in Peru, while still connected to Goshen, leading the SST program here.

How do you strive to make peace through your work and life?

By listening first and speaking second.

Is there anything else you would like prospective students to know about you?  

I always welcome invitations to talk over lunch in the cafeteria or coffee in the Connector.