Western Connecticut State University
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"I find meaning in my life hanging with them."
Professor Spotlight: Andy Thibault
By Tom Perkins
April 15, 2008
Adjunct Lecturer Andy Thibault, who has been teaching both Undergraduate and Graduate classes at WestConn since 2005, may be a worthy consideration for anyone looking for a thrilling approach to the study of writing next semester.
Thibault is currently teaching classes on Human Interest Writing and Basic News Writing for undergrads and Investigative Reporting and Feature Writing for Graduate students. He also teaches a class on blogging at Northwestern Connecticut Community College.
Along with his own blog, The Cool Justice Report (www.cooljustice.blogspot.com), which covers "cops, courts, general news and the arts," Thibault's blogging class can also be viewed on the web at www.northwesternbloggers.blogspot.com.
So far, teaching at WestConn has been a pleasure for Thibault.
"It's going great. I've got a real good crew in both of my classes," he said in regard to his students.
Aside from just learning the craft, students in Thibault's classes have also been privy to several guest speakers including Louis "The Coin" Colavecchio, a counterfeiter who swindled Vegas casinos, as well as his arresting officer Jerry Longo, a retired Connecticut State Police Detective Sergeant. Last Friday, Thibault's students were audience to Barbara Parsons, a PEN First Amendment Award winning author who began her writing at Connecticut's Niantic Prison while incarcerated for the killing of her husband. Along with other female inmates, Parsons was involved in a writing program with author Wally Lamb, which saw publication in "Couldn't Keep it to Myself: Testimonies from Imprisoned Sisters."
In the case of his guest speakers, Thibault encourages his students to ask tough questions and take good notes. His classes have also taken to following unfolding legal matters independently. Currently, members of his two undergraduate classes are involved in the study of the Smolinksi missing person case in Waterbury regarding a mysterious and, at present, unsolved murder and love triangle which has resulted in an FBI investigation.
Besides The Cool Justice Report, he is the author of "Law & Justice in Everyday Life," a collection of writings on the ins and outs of the justice system. Thibault is a professional boxing judge, occasionally overseeing fights at Foxwoods Casino, as well as a licensed private investigator. He also holds a position as a consulting editor for the Connecticut Review, and in his spare time resides in Litchfield with his family and three dogs. Concerning the pets, he jokingly remarks, "I find meaning in my life hanging with them."
Those interested in Thibault's writings or classes, aside from checking his blogs, are encouraged to visit his website, www.andythibault.com. Though some of the course work Thibault deals out may seem a little peculiar or daunting, he says that his students have a lot of fun.
"We have some pretty lively discussions about pursuing stories and interviewing people," Thibault said.
For writing students or people just looking for an exciting take on the field of journalism, Andy Thibault is a noteworthy teacher to consider.
Law & Justice In Everyday Life by Andy Thibault at Amazon.com
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