It would have been an English class like any other—write a paper, turn it in, get it back, put it in the waste bin, never learn a thing—but Professor Jane Brady made it the best class at BYU. First off, Jane was unconventional. She regularly invited students over to her house for dinners, and once we even had a talent show. She read poetry at the beginning of every class, even on the days where we were talking about scholarly research papers and critical analyses, and encouraged us to write and read our own. I discovered a talent I would have never explored without her encouragement. She encouraged us to learn in unconventional ways. We were required to do service hours and then turn our serve into our final research paper—I volunteered at the BYU Student Honor Association and then studied the effectiveness of institutions with honor codes across the nation. Jane helped me perfect my paper so I could turn it into the BYU Honor Code office to be published because she saw the potential it had. Her efforts over the years have helped more students to be published than I can even count. It is rare to find a teacher that works all semester with students and, even after they leave her class, is still working to help them succeed. Jane is rare find.
Jane taught us to write about things we are passionate about. I was passionate about the service I had done, and I was passionate about the leaves I wrote poetry about. Now I am writing to let Utah know I believe that Jane Brady is one of the best teachers at BYU. I am passionate about it, and I return to her class year after year at the beginning of the semester to tell her students how fortunate they are to be in her class. I learned to care about the written word because I knew Jane cared about it and I knew she cared about me. She made an effort to stay involved in my life even years after I had been in her class. Every now and then I’ll find little emails or notes that ask how I’m doing and if there is anything she can do to help. For years she has helped me out on research projects, been on my list of references, and written me letters of recommendations for prestigious scholarships and now I want to write a passionate recommendation to an award that would mean very much to her: the KSL Teacher Feature. I am now about to graduate and have taken many classes and worked with many teachers, but Jane and her freshmen honors English will always stand out above the rest.
-Carrie Van Dusen
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