Behind the Bok: Eleanor Finnegan

March 4, 2021
Eleanor Finnegan

Welcome to the first edition of our new feature, Behind the Bok! Each month we will profile a member of the Bok staff in order for our friends and colleagues to learn more about us, the full range of work that we do, how we approach our work, and what is happening in the world of teaching and learning from different perspectives.

Eleanor Finnegan, Assistant Director, Faculty Programming

Q: What is your educational background?

A: I have three degrees in Religious Studies — a BA in Religion (with a minor in Economics) from Colgate University, a Master of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt University, and a PhD in Religion from the University of Florida.

Q: How did you come to work at a teaching and learning center?

A: I got lucky. When I applied to be the General Education Project Lead (my first position at Bok), I didn’t know much about teaching and learning centers or the Bok Center. I applied because it sounded like an interesting job where I could use my experiences at the University of Florida, Coastal Carolina University, and the University of Alabama, where I designed and taught many different classes. I originally became an academic because I wanted to teach. What I learned from being a professor was that I also loved helping people with their teaching, mentoring people, and working collaboratively. At the Bok Center, I found a place where I can bring together my interests and experience to help faculty and graduate students.

Q: Describe a project that you are excited about right now.

A: We are continuing to work with Maya Jasanoff and her teaching staff on GENED 1014: Ancestry. We’ve worked on this course since it was created, and it has grown to be the third largest course of the spring semester. We are helping her figure out how to modify class activities for the new class size and remote setting, as well as helping with creating rubrics that will make it easier for feedback to be consistent across such a large course. It’s exciting to have a small part in continually improving such a popular course. I am also enjoying teaching my spring Bok Seminar, Designing a Syllabus. Being able to work more with students has been really rewarding. 

Eleanor Finnegan

Q: What are some of your favorite local attractions (when places are open)?

A: Monument Restaurant and Tavern in Charlestown; the Museum of Fine Arts; Legal Seafood Harborside; the Charlestown Navy Yard; Pier Six; the Rose Kennedy Greenway.