Professor Spotlight: Professor William Zorn

Kayce Fuentes, Staff Writer

Professor William G. Zorn has been teaching here at Millikin University for five weeks, but students are encouraged to make no mistake; he’s noteworthy.

Zorn began his professional education by getting his AA in communication from Illinois Central College. He then went on to Eastern Illinois University, where he received a B.A. in theater, and continued on to obtain an MEA in play writing from Ohio University. He finished off his schooling with a Ph.D. in English with a creative writing emphasis from Western Michigan University.

Zorn only teaches three sections of IN 350, Critical Writing, Reading and Research, at this point, but would love to teach a playwriting course here at Millikin, stating that many of his previous playwriting students have gone on to do great things.

“My favorite parts of teaching are the ‘aha moments,’” Zorn said. “It is very easy for students in 2014 to become disinterested and jaded at a very young age and I love to break that facade by getting students to see the world beyond Facebook.”

Zorn has always felt the call for teaching for a variety of reasons.

“Whenever I direct a play or musical, I tend to bring a lot of background information and research to each project and inevitably the cast will tell me how much they have learned from the experience,” Zorn said. “So honestly, I think I’ve always been an educator. It’s always been a part of my creative life.”

Zorn stated that in his free time he does a good deal of theater, including acting, directing, playwriting and being a dramaturg for most of his adult life. He also likes to camp and travel when he can, and enjoys seeing his plays be produced in different parts of the country.

During vacations, Zorn enjoys visiting haunted locations to continue his research into the paranormal, making him a good fit for the “haunted” grounds of Millikin University.

In regards to Millikin’s own ghost stories, Zorn said, “I can only speak to my own experiences. Shilling is a great, old building which I believe has mostly residual stuff going on, with the exception of the woman in Albert Taylor, of course, but every theater worth its salt has a ghost.”

When asked if he had any advice for incoming freshmen, Zorn said, “If it scares you, do it.  Everyone you have ever admired ran headlong into the unknown and came out on the other side a better person. Also, know what is happening in the world to your fellow humans.”

Millikin University warmly welcomes Professor William G. Zorn to its esteemed faculty. We hope he feels as excited to be here as we are to have him.