Courtney Mazur is a composition instructor at California State University, Sacramento. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University, Sacramento, and is currently finishing her Master’s in Composition.

(Photo courtesy of Courtney Mazur)

(Photo courtesy of Courtney Mazur)

What is the importance of education in your field?

“Education is crucial for those wanting to teach at any level. It’s important to learn current practices and methods so that you can apply them in the classroom.”

How has a degree helped you professionally and personally?

“Professionally, once I obtain my master’s degree, I will be able to teach at multiple colleges and universities in the Sacramento area and beyond. Personally, I am the first person in my immediate family to receive my bachelor’s and soon master’s, so I am very proud.”

What is your advice to those seeking a career in this field?

“If you are interested in being an instructor at the community college or college level, there are many opportunities available in Sacramento so networking and making connections with people at multiple institutions is imperative. Also knowing what each institution values and what their curriculum looks like is very important when considering your options.”

Is there continuing education available for your field of work? Is it encouraged?

“Absolutely. Ph.D’s in Composition and Rhetoric are available at numerous universities around the country. There are also many conferences that professionals in the field are encouraged to attend to develop their practices and network with others in the field.”

As a new professional in your field, what challenges do you face that a seasoned professor might not?

“I’ve noticed that some students question the experience of younger instructors, but I find that if I demonstrate my knowledge of the field, they are reassured.”

What is your advice for those considering becoming teachers?

“Take it day-by-day and don’t be afraid to say something isn’t working. When you get stuck or frustrated (because you will), collaborate with other instructors to see what methods they are using and try them with your students.”

Megan Bowyer is a freelance writer in search of the best food and drinks that Sacramento has to offer. You can find her at any number of dive bars or trendy restaurants; just look for the short blonde feeding the jukebox. Her work can be found at


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