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Susan Brooks

Job Titles


Dr. Brooks works primarily with the Communication Arts and Literature Education major, preparing students to be high school and middle school English teachers. Her scholarship focuses on best practices in reading and writing--particularly how people's underlying ideas about the nature of literature affect the ways they read, write and teach. She specializes in young adult literature and recently had a chapter published in Teens and the New Religious Landscape: Essays on Religion in Young Adult Fiction (Mcfarland, 2018). She loves to play with educational technology and will frequently invite her students to experiment with her. She is Bethel's 2016 award winner for Faculty Excellence in Teaching.

Started at Bethel



  • Bethel College - B.A., 1986
  • Mankato State University - M.S., 1994
  • University of Minnesota - Ph.D., 2010


Brooks grew up in northern Wisconsin earned her original degree and teaching license at Bethel, returning to become a professor after a dozen years teaching high school and middle school English. She lives in Bloomington with her lovable but needy labrador retriever and her husband. They have two children, both Bethel grads, who are in the process of moving into adulthood.   

Courses Taught

  • Juvenile Literature
  • Inquiry Seminar
  • Methods of Teaching English
  • Student Teaching
  • Great Writers: An Introduction to Literature


Faculty Innovation Technology Mini-Grant--2017

Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching--Bethel University Faculty--2016

Theology Camp Grant Writing Team--Lilly Foundation--2015

Prodigy Grant for Kennedy Choirs Booster Club--Bloomington School District 271--2013


Brooks, S. (2018).  "The Book Worlds of Nikki Grimes:  An Invitation to Dialogic Reading" in Teens and the New Religious Landscape:  Essays on Religion in Young Adult Fiction.  Macfarland.Brooks, S.  (2017). 

Brooks, S. with Bacigalupa, C., Lensmire, T., Nathan, R., and Snaza, N. (2017).  "Dangerous Play:  Race and Bakhtin in a Graduate Classroom" in Performing Anti-racist Pedagogy in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communication.  University Press of Colorado and WAC Clearinghouse.

Brooks, S. (2015) Invited Guest Blogger.  Scenarios and Case Studies Contextualize Abstract Concepts.  Bethel University Faculty Development Blog.  https://blogs.bethel.edu/faculty-development

Brooks, S.  (2015). Information is not Enough:  Facilitating Reflection and Changing Beliefs.  Minnesota English Journal.  http://minnesotaenglishjournalonline.org/


Brooks, S. (2017).  Ensuring that Kids are Reading Without the Blasted Daily Quiz.  A Day for Their Teachers is a Day for Them MCTE Regional Workshop.  Glenwood, Minnesota.

Brooks, S. (2017).  Best Practices in Teaching Writing.  Bethel University Workshop to Develop Inquiry Seminar.  Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Brooks, S. (2017).  Increasing Student Engagement with Reading Assignments.  Bethel University Nursing Department Professional Development.  Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Brooks, S. (2017). Using Flipgrid.  West by Midwest.  Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Brooks, S. and Rasmussen, J.  (2017). Just Do It, The Reading Version.  Carleton College Faculty Development Invited Presenters.  Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota. 

Brooks, S. (2017).  Reading and Writing Together.  Normandale College Writing Festival.  Normandale College, Bloomington, Minnesota.

Brooks, S. (2015). Invited Presenter.  Giving Effective and Efficient Feedback on Papers.  Humanities Team Workshop Day.  Bethel University, St. Paul, MN.

Professional Organizations, Committees, and Boards

Board Member, Minnesota Council of Teachers of English

Member, National Council of Teachers of English

Hobbies and Interests

Dr. Brooks enjoys anything that happens outside.  She gardens (but can't grow houseplants) and spends a fair amount of summer time reading in the hammock.  She is an avid backpacker and canoeist and has completed almost 50 trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area--most of them with colleagues and students from Bethel.  


You must humble yourself before the Creator; Only the Creator knows the whole language. Jim Northrup 2014