Meet a Colleague: Margaret Anne Hinkle Margaret Anne Hinkle is an assistant professor of earth and environmental geoscience.
Q. How long have you worked at W&L?
I’ve been at W&L since the 2017-2018 academic year.
Q. What courses are you teaching this term?
I am teaching Environmental Field Methods (EEG 231) for Spring Term.
Q. What is your favorite course to teach?
Oh that is a tricky question! If I had to pick just one, I’d say Sustainable Earth (EEG 102). I got to teach it for the first time this past fall and had an absolute blast! So many of the major issues we face today are rooted in the geosciences, so being able to teach a course in which we focus not just on those issues but also on solutions is inspiring. We need more hope in the world and that class makes me so hopeful for our future.
Q. What do you like most about working at W&L?
Our community is just top notch. I am continually inspired by our students – so many of them are engaged activities that better our local community, as well as the world at large. They have brilliant, innovative ideas on what they can do to help make things better. I also could not ask for better colleagues – as a member of the Earth and Environmental Geoscience Department and an affiliate faculty in Environmental Studies, both departments are filled with brilliant folks deeply committed to our students.
Q. Where is your favorite location on the W&L campus?
The gazebo at Peniel Farm – the view can’t be beat, and I love bringing my classes out there to share the magic of that spot with them!
Q. What advice do you have for students?
You are only here, in this moment of your life, at this place, with these people, for a small part of your life – but it will have a huge impact on you and your future. W&L has so much to offer its students so take full advantage of those things while you are here! Study abroad or take an amazing Spring Term class that will allow you to travel or explore new topics. Make connections with your professors (go to office hours just to say hi!) and your peers. Attend some of the amazing talks on campus. Consider taking a class just for fun – you never know what may inspire you!
Q. What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?
Just one thing?! Playing with my kiddos, hands down. There is something so magical about childhood. If I can choose more than the one thing, I love embroidery (the nerdier the better), creating very atrocious watercolor paintings, playing with all the (far too many) animals on our farm, gardening (any excuse to get my hands in soil), riding my giant pony (and trying not to fall off) and going on hikes through the woods with our dogs and kids.
Q. Where did you grow up?
In two places, actually! St. Louis, Missouri and then we moved to Franklin, Tennessee. This is why if you see anyone in town rocking a Cardinals t-shirt, they are probably my family!
Q. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a large animal vet. Luckily I got a job at a vet’s office when I was in high school and learned that was not the life for me. I always tell students – learning what you don’t enjoy is incredibly valuable to figuring out your path in life – so try things and be open to changing your dreams!
Q. What is the most adventurous thing that you have ever done?
Backpacking in New Zealand for a couple of months before grad school. It was the most amazing experience and I can’t wait to take students there when I teach Regional Geology (EEG 373) with Chris Connors not too long from now.
Q. What books are you reading now?
Currently I’m reading “Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World” by Marcia Bjornerud and “The BFG” by Roald Dahl (to my kids).
Q. What music are you listening to these days?
I listen to a lot of different types of music depending on the day! Right now my heavy rotation includes Kishi Bashi, Dolly Parton, ALA.NI, Rising Appalachia and Valerie June.
Q. If you could live anywhere, where would you build your dream home?
New Zealand, ideally (and we are dreaming here so go with me!). Teleportation would be nice so that we can easily travel back to the U.S. to visit our families.
Q. If they made a movie about your life, who would play you?
The late great Robin Williams – we know he did a great job playing a teacher, a mad scientist and a woman so I bet he’d tackle this role no problem.
Q. What is your desert island food?
Chocolate cheesecake. High in calories and deliciousness, but let’s be honest, I wouldn’t last long on a desert island so I might as well go out with happy taste buds.
Q. Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
That I have a Ph.D. (I kid, I kid…)
Q. What is your secret talent?
I can wiggle my eyes on command ever since I got thrown from a pony and hit my head on a metal pole (wear your helmets, gang!).