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Professor’s Room: Rebecca Gorman-O’Neill

An occasional series that gets within the inner sanctums of academia – because clever people have interesting rooms.

By Cory Phare

June 14, 2017

Rebecca Gorman O'Neill in her office.

Rebecca Gorman O’Neill is most comfortable when she’s surrounded by books and art.

And as professor of English and interim department chair, her office is filled with endless inspiration, just waiting to be turned into the next great story. Here’s a little window into hers, by way of the items in her workplace.

1. I’ve got baseballs all over the place; I just like to have them in my hand, especially when I’m on the phone. I’m originally from Ohio and pulling for the Cleveland Indians is just sad, so I’m a diehard Rockies fan – I’ve even got a little radio in here to listen to the day games.

2. This is a scale model of Tower Bridge in London, where I lived and studied for a semester. I’ve loved Legos since I was a little kid, and find working with my hands extremely soothing. And, as an adult, now I can buy all of the sets I’d like – I’m really looking forward to picking up the Saturn V rocket one!

3. I’ve always got three screens going simultaneously: my work computer, my iPad for music and to-do lists, and one that is a stream of live animal webcams; they make me completely happy. I was an April-the-giraffe devotee – I definitely love giraffes, as they’re so huge, gentle and ridiculously adorable.

4. Once a year, I get up to Rocky Mountain National Park to seriously run around a bit. My husband found a great 1930s reproduction of this poster of the park; I tried to track down this specific lake three times and failed, but finally found it – it’s Cub Lake.

5. My pinboard with artwork is a representation of what’s going on inside my head. I’ve got a picture from the first play I ever wrote, and a few of my favorite comic book writers: Charles Paul Wilson III (the cover from Neil Gaiman’s “The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury”), a mermaid with jellyfish from Renee Nault and one of Sara Richard’s works on "My Little Pony."

6. The most successful play I’ve written is a pseudobiography of Edgar Allen Poe, called “Tell-Tale;” there are a bunch of high schools that stage productions of it. This Poe doll was a gift from my mom.

7. Office doors tell a lot about the person inside. I firmly believe in an open door as a department chair, and if I’m not here, my whiteboard says where I’m at. It means a lot to create an approachable, welcoming environment for our students – they’re why we’re here.

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