Sister Susan Rieke,
McGilley Chair for Liberal Studies
Sister Susan Rieke is the longest tenured English faculty professor on staff at Saint Mary. A 1966 Saint Mary College alum, Sister Susan began teaching at her alma mater in 1980, and led the department as chair for more than 16 years. She works tirelessly to help English majors and non-majors alike develop exceptional writing, communications, and critical thinking skills.
As an author of two published books of poetry and countless other single poems, Sr. Susan is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on American literature, particularly poetry written by Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. Students are engaged by Sr. Susan’s unique approach: She takes classic and contemporary literature and makes it relevant to the lives of students today. In 2010, she was installed as with the university’s inaugural endowed chair, the McGilley Chair for Liberal Studies. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, and holds the rank of full professor of English.