Southeast Missouri State University

English Alumnus Continues to Live the Dream

College of Liberal Arts

They say working at a job for 40 or more years is tolerable and even enjoyable if you truly love what you are doing.  If this is so, Roger Forsythe should have no problem continuing his career for many years to come.

Roger is an adjunct English professor at Barry University and Edison State College in Naples, Fla.

He also recently completed writing an award-winning novel called A Crucible of Innocence, an expansion of his graduate creative research project on the English Romantic Age poet John Keats.  His novel has received excellent critical acclaim since its publication, including winning the 2009 Reader Views “Reviewers’ Choice Award” for new series and being named a finalist in the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for best first novel.

Roger says if there is a secret to success, it must be tenacity.

“Success is a purely relative thing, anyway,” he says.  “One man’s success may be another man’s misery.  If I am successful, it is only in that I love what I do for a living and am very happy with the publication and critical reception of my first novel.”

Roger graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in interdisciplinary studies with emphases in English, psychology and marketing.  He also earned his Master’s degree in English from Southeast in 1988.

“As a college professor, by far the most rewarding aspect of my profession is sharing my love of writing and literature with a new generation of students receptive to learning through self-development.  I love the fact that I have taken the proverbial torch passed to me by my English teachers, am transferring their high standards to my roster of students and am achieving a positive effect on the lives of many young writers,” he says.

Roger was nominated for “Faculty of the Year” this spring at Edison State College.

“The English department at Southeast definitely prepared me for this career, as well as for my earlier careers in journalism and marketing.  I still have my college notebooks and regularly refer to them as a basis for material I cover in my literature courses.  I took meticulous notes because I knew my destiny lay in writing and teaching college literature,” says Roger.

He says that his fondest memories of Southeast are of “playing Trivial Pursuit with Dr. Jennie Cooper and English department friends, publishing in Journey, being a disc jockey for KRCU and attending the excellent Grauel building classes taught by Dr. Max Cordonnier, Dr. Janice Rainwater, Dr. Henry Sessoms, Dr. Roy Dawson and Dr. Harvey Hecht.  I think I was Dr. Dale Haskell’s first student to advise.”

Roger offered the following advice to future Southeast students.

“Make the most of your time in college at Southeast.  Take electives and broaden your horizon--especially in subjects you may never take elsewhere.  I still love Cape Girardeau.  It’s a great town.”

Roger’s hobbies include going to the beach, reading and marketing his book. He is also a licensed trim carpenter and a certified astrologer.