Dr. Rickie-Ann Legleitner is a brand new professor here at University of Wisconsin–Stout. During her first year, she is teaching English 101, English 102, Honors Seminar 1 and Critical Writing. The funny thing is, she never thought she wanted to teach. Never in her life did she play pretend teacher, talk about wanting to teach or even consider the option. She started out pursuing pre-med in her undergrad, but disliked the coursework; she felt as though she was torturing herself going through it. So she switched to majoring in art, then communications, and then finally to English. She also completed three minors, simply to “satisfy the curiosity.” Legleitner found herself feeling at home with the English major as “you get a little bit of everything in it.” She went on to get her masters in English, and it was during this time that she worked in the DePaul University’s center for writing-based learning and finally realized how much she loved working with and helping students.
Rickie-Ann Legleitner grew up in the suburbs of Flint, Michigan. She appreciates growing up in this area as she felt it was a very diverse area with economic difficulty. This introduced her to a wide range of perspectives in multiple different disciplines. She moved from Michigan to Chicago to South Dakota to Wisconsin; this gave her a wide range of perspectives that assisted her in becoming an educator.
Outside of the classroom, Legleitner gets active with her rescue Border-Collie mix. In the warmer months, she loves doing outdoor activities and is as involved with social activism as she can be. Legleitner is especially passionate about the study of disabilities. The entire theme of her Critical Writing course is based around learning and talking about them. She wants her students to speak of the unspoken, to recognize what disabilities truly are and the struggles disabled people face.
When asked if she be anywhere right now, she responded immediately with Cuba. “I want to be in Cuba before McDonald’s gets there,” she said jokingly. Legleitner appreciates the distinctly preserved culture they have that has yet to be invaded with chain restaurants and major corporations. Once tourism is allowed, she would genuinely love to gather up students and study abroad to learn and experience Cuban culture more.
I asked Legleitner what her life philosophy is. This question is, admittedly, incredibly tedious and difficult to answer. However, her response was quite simple. She told me her philosophy on life is, “If you don’t love it, why do it?” This phrase really encompasses the reasoning behind so many of her life experiences. Between switching majors to switching states, doing what she loves is what makes her life so worth it; we can all learn from that.