Writing Teacher Wants Students to Find Personal Legend

By Erin Phillips

March 25, 2019

With 25 years of experience in college composition, rhetoric, literature, and creative writing, GCC English professor Marie Iglesias-Cardinale explains her passion for her work and where it all began.

After so many years of teaching, Iglesias-Cardinale said she loves what she does because of “a love of literacy, of language, and a firm belief that writing changes lives.”

Iglesias-Cardinale grew up in what she describes as warm, sunny, and full of food and love Los Angeles, California. “My grandma Martinez made me feel smart and capable,” she said. “My grandfather Martinez made me love the earth and nature, and my mom helped me to love reading.” Iglesias-Cardinale’s goals in life are to be a better person, to raise a strong, happy family, and to help students find and achieve what Paulo Coelho calls “their personal legend.”

“Everything I read influenced me to become an English professor, I also had a few professors I really admired and recognized my own abilities to emulate their successes.”

Iglesias-Cardinale studied at UCLA and Humboldt State University (HSU). As a graduate student at HSU, she worked as an adjunct/graduate assistant there, and she worked full-time as an instructional aide for the hearing impaired with the Humboldt County of Education. What led her to GCC was ad in The Chronicle of Higher Education, “When I graduated from Humboldt State University, my then boyfriend, now husband, and I applied to 63 jobs all across the country. SUNY hired us both, so here we are,” she said. “It was my first full time professional offer, so I grabbed it and have had no regrets since.”

Now Iglesias-Cardinale helps students grow their written communication skills and helps them find their own story through the humanities. “I am an alchemist, turning base metal into gold,” she said. “Learning how to read and write better will always be important and in demand.”