Admission & Financial Aid > Dennis Barnett

Dennis Barnett
Associate Professor of Theatre

B.A. Indiana University
M.F.A. Florida State University
Ph.D. University of Washington

What is your favorite class to teach and why?
In May or 2007, I took 12 Coe students to Belgrade, Serbia. We spent two weeks visiting museums, theatres, and meeting people. The theatre students took a 3-day workshop with one of the leading cutting-edge theatres in Europe, Theatre DAH, and everyone ate a lot of great food. We also learned much about the political and historical realities of the Balkans. I hope to repeat this class in 2009.

Who is playing on your iPod?
Modest Mouse, Feist, Mumbles (Transformations/Illuminations), and Ravel's Flute Sonata in D.

What book are you currently reading?
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

What do you do outside of class?
Raise three sons - ages 33, 18, and 3.

What does teaching at Coe mean to you?
Teaching at Coe is about personal interaction. It's about stimulating minds, not so much about content or matter, but more about the spirit of learning. It is a place that allows us to engage in a limitless intellectual and social journey, a journey that takes us all to new places.

What makes Coe stand out from other schools?
I've never known a school with a greater sense of collegiality. Professors in Science, Business, Art and the Humanities hang together socially and share what they learn with each other. We don't compete for students. We work together to make sure all of our students have the help they need to reach their academic and personal goals. I have taught at four other institutions, each of whom paid lip service to these ideals, but Coe is the first school I've known to actively pursue them with such commitment.

What advice would you give a prospective student?
The best advice I can give is to not let anyone tell you what kind of school is best for you. Coe is a great school of its kind - small and very attentive to each individual student - but the students that will get the most out of it are those who want and need that kind of attention. Not all students fit that description. If you think Coe is right for you - then know, to make the most out of it, you're going to have to be ready to communicate with your professors on a daily basis. If you want to disappear into the background then Coe is not for you.