Wingate Faces

Casey Pratt

Dr. Casey Pratt's advice to college students is to "Be open to changes, sometimes you don't know where you'll land or what you'll do," he said. "But lean into that."

Pratt took his own advice while in college at Saganaw Valley State University in Michigan. Starting out as a science major, he realized he'd rather teach content that related to life changing questions like he was facing as a college student. Questions such as Who am I? and What's the point? led Pratt to switch his major to English with a minor in Psychology. After graduation, he attended graduate school at Purdue University where he earned his master's degree and PhD in American Literature. He met his wife, Gretchen, at Purdue and after they married in 2007 they moved to Wingate. Since then Pratt has worked as an assistant professor of English. Three years later their daughter Iris arrived.

Pratt enjoys teaching at Wingate. "People here seem earnest about education," he said. "The students here are serious about learning and I share that enthusiasm." Pratt especially enjoys the Global Perspectives classes and core curriculum offered at Wingate. "They do more than just prepare students for a job, these classes prepare them for life," he said. "It gives them a broader awareness of what is going on in the world and where we are in history."

Pratt's time at Wingate has refined his communication skills and given him a better sense of who Americans are. "I've got a window into the southern culture that I was not familiar with," he explained. "The food, language, religion and politics are much different than I experienced growing up in the north." He jokes about being perceived as very intense and rude when he first arrived south. Since then, he's learned to be more receptive to what students are saying and to phrase things differently in order to clearly communicate.

In Pratt's spare time, he enjoys playing with his daughter and reading. "I think I'll always be a reader," said Pratt. "I'm always surprised at how good the stuff is that I get to teach."