Inspired early on by her high school teachers, Dr. Jeanette N. Passty first earned an Associate of Arts from Los Angeles Valley College in 1966 before joining the University of California Los Angeles, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 1968 and was encouraged by Dr. Florence Ridley to enter the field of language and literature. She went on study at the University of Southern California where she also served as a teaching assistant, lecturer and associate director for the freshman English program from 1971 to 1978. In 1974, she achieved her Master of Arts, which was followed by a Doctor of Philosophy in 1982. Dr. Passty went on to teach at a variety of Texas universities between 1982 and 1987, including Texas State University, the University of Texas at Austin and Texas Lutheran University.
Dr. Passty then joined St. Philip’s College in 1988 as an assistant professor and rose to the rank of associate professor in 1992, a position she holds to this day. In addition to this role, she has proffered her expertise to a variety of other institutions, national and international, as a lecturer, including the University of London, Western Michigan State University and UC Berkeley. In order to keep abreast of developments in her field, Dr. Passty holds membership with the American Association of University Women, the Modern Language Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, the Texas College English Association, the South Central Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies and the International Virginia Woolf Society, among others.
Dr. Passty has also spent time as a book reviewer and editorial consultant, and has been a manuscript reviewer for Fairleigh Dickinson University Press since 1991. A prolific author herself, she has written articles for encyclopedias and professional journals as well as chapters for books. Some of her works include “Eros and Androgyny” in 1988, “The Lion Tells Her Story” in 1998, “Bringing Denis Home” in 2001, “Creating the Spark” in 2009, “Hard Times and Great Expectations” in 2010, “The Music of the Spheres” in 2011 and “Conquering Diabetes” in 2012. Dr. Passty has also been featured on local radio and television stations, including the time a video of her taken at a Women Writers of Color conference appeared on CNN in 1998.
Having received numerous honors over the course of her career, Dr. Passty is particularly proud to have been appointed as the primary investigator for the William C. Davis biography project in 2016. Some of her other accolades include being nominated for the Minnie Stevens Piper professorship in 2012, inducted into the Alamo Colleges Women’s Hall of Fame in 2009 and presented with the St. Philip’s College Teaching Excellence Award, among others. She also received the Katherine Anne Porter Literature Prize in 1999 and multiple letters of appreciation for her time teaching in England. Dr. Passty would summarize the legacy she hopes to leave with a line from Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” “And gladly would [she] learn, and gladly teach.”