Tamelyn Tucker-Worgs

What brought you to Hood College?

I was recruited to Hood to teach classes about African American religion, which is my field of study. It wasn’t a hard sell because Hood was my dream job—a small liberal arts college where I could develop interesting courses and truly engage and interact with students while at the same time work on my research agenda.

What do you value most about your relationship with students?

I value the intellectual curiosity of the students I have encountered here at Hood. I teach courses in religion and politics, both subjects that can be very controversial because people can have very strong beliefs about them. I value the students’ willingness to consider thinking about ideas in new ways, even those that challenge their previously held beliefs and ways of understanding the world. I also like that at Hood, faculty members are encouraged to interact with students in a myriad of ways, including advising, advising honors papers and working with student groups. It helps to build rapport with students and enhances the students and the faculty members’ “Hood experience.”

Why is teaching your dream job?

I love teaching because it keeps me interacting with colleagues and students who are intellectually curious and not simply going through the motions of life. I love to think that a conversation in class or a lecture or an exchange with a fellow classmate may spark something in a student that contributes to a life changing experience for him or her and may eventually contribute to making the world a better place.

If you were to consider another career, what would you consider and why?

If I were not teaching I would probably work as a policy analyst at a think tank or advocacy organization. This would allow me to focus on research and policy advocacy that could help counteract some of the wealth, income, health and education disparities in our society.

Describe your approach to teaching?

My approach to teaching is to encourage a lot of student/teacher and student/student interaction. Even in a lecture-oriented class, student participation and their active engagement with the reading material and lecture is required. I think that students learn best this way. It helps them to take some responsibility in the learning process.

What is/are your most memorable moment/s at Hood?

I love Hood’s commencement ceremonies. It is so moving to see students that I had as freshmen walk across the stage after they’ve earned their degrees. The most memorable Commencement for me was in 2006 when students who began their freshman year at the same time I began my “freshman,” or first year at Hood, graduated.

Describe your academic interests and research?

I have a number of research interests that broadly include urban politics, women and politics, African American politics and religion and politics. In particular I study the Black megachurch phenomenon and its impact on public life and have recently published a book on the subject.

When you aren’t working, what are you doing in your spare time?

When I’m not working I love to spend time with my family. We like to go on day trips to historical sites like Harpers Ferry. We also like to go on nature hikes.

Name three books that you would recommend everyone read:

“The Color Purple” by Alice Walker
“Oh the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss
“The Bluest Eye” Toni Morrison

If you would like to contact Professor Tucker-Worgs, you can e-mail her at tuckerworgs@hood.edu.