Professor Abby Goode: Inspiring Students and Colleagues Alike

“Effective teaching is about empowering students as knowledge creators at every turn, in small and large ways,” says Assistant Professor of Early American Literature Abby Goode. Her success in not only inspiring students but also influencing instructional trends is well recognized by Plymouth State University peers, who have honored her with both the Distinguished Scholarship and Transformative Teaching awards. 

Goode has served as a leader and steward of open, interdisciplinary, and project-based pedagogies within and beyond PSU, publishing peer-reviewed scholarship, speaking at national conferences, and mentoring faculty across the disciplines. She specializes in environmental studies and American literature and culture.  

Goode’s book, Agrotopias: An American Literary History of Sustainability, is forthcoming from the University of North Carolina Press this fall, and her peer-reviewed research appears in outlets such as Early American Literature, ESQ, Studies in American Fiction, Hybrid Pedagogy, and American Studies in Scandinavia. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the American Antiquarian Society, the Institute for Citizens and Scholars, and the First Book Institute at the Center for American Literary Studies at Penn State. 

“Her rigorous research will have all the more impact due to her participation in the public humanities and her ability to render her work accessible to multiple audiences,” says Assistant Professor of Art History and Art History Coordinator Sarah Parrish. “In addition to the traditional ‘scholarship of discovery,’ Goode is also a major player in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Her thoughtful article ‘Slow Interdisciplinarity,’ published by Hybrid Pedagogy, has become a foundational text in our Cluster Learning trainings and will surely influence the larger field of higher education as educators continue to respond to a changing landscape.” 

Goode’s teaching focuses on creating opportunities for student leadership, open education,  and community engagement, even after the semester is over. From sustainability-driven composition courses to project-based “American Food Issues” capstones to environmental justice literature classes, her teaching invites students to synthesize multiple disciplinary perspectives, contribute to the knowledge commons, and engage in current ecological and social debates.   

“Over the years, I have taught in a range of contexts and forms—in-person and online, upper-level and introductory, during a pandemic and during tense electoral seasons,” says Goode. “Through it all, I consistently encourage students to carve their own paths, to be fearless and innovative in confronting unsolved problems, and to build enduring, intellectual habits that extend far beyond the classroom. My teaching has focused on creating opportunities for student-led innovation and community engagement.” 

“Abby was a professor and advisor of mine for my entire four years of university,” says Dalton Puffer ’20. “She changed my perspective in many forms and fashions and I can’t thank her enough for that. Her teaching methods are truly unparalleled and highly effective.” 

“She considers what she brings to the classroom and how that impacts her students and adjusts her approach to find out how to make it work best for her students,” adds Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies Mary Beth Ray. “Abby takes pedagogical risks to improve student engagement and learning that additionally highlight her treatment of students as collaborators and contributors of new knowledge.”