Professor Daniel Schafer returns to campus

Daniel Schafer relaxes on campus in 2014. (McDaniel Free Press staff)Daniel Schafer relaxes on campus in 2014. (McDaniel Free Press staff)

To some people, there may appear to be a new face in the English Department, though seniors, faculty, and staff are excited to welcome back professor Daniel Schafer.

He first came to McDaniel in 2013, and was a visiting professor for four years. Schafer previously taught and worked in publishing and non-profits, and applied to work at McDaniel after being told about an opening from another English professor, Paul Muhlhauser, who he knew previously from graduate school.

After his fourth year, he returned to his home state of Washington, but continued to offer several online courses to students and stay connected with the McDaniel community.

While in Washington, he spent some time taking care of his son, as well as working with a public health non-profit. He worked to transform the Medicaid system to be more effective, and also worked with medical clinics on tribal lands. He continues to be involved in public health in Maryland, with a global health initiative in Bethesda.

Schafer has taught a wide variety of courses in the English department, often on the topic of composition and design, but also ranging from technical courses to more literature focused ones. While it is difficult to pick just one course that he likes the most, he offers Professional Communication most often, and also enjoys teaching Baseball Nonfiction, as well as Editing and Desktop Publishing.

This semester he is teaching an FYS course for the first time, America’s Game: Baseball, which was previously taught by coach David Seibert, who retired in 2018. Having already taught a course on baseball writing in the past, this combination seemed like a winning match.

Schafer hopes to highlight many different perspectives in his course, showing how baseball writing can tell rich stories, show interesting characters, and mirror social and cultural issues of the time. He is also allowing students to take a hands-on approach to writing by holding a Wiffle ball game in the Quad during class, and then having students write about the game using techniques they have previously read about.

One thing that Schafer is looking forward to this semester is being able to teach classes in person. While he enjoys online classes, and continues to offer them, he recognizes the benefits to teaching in person. He appreciates being able to interact with students face to face, and being able to be more responsive to student questions and needs. He also enjoys being involved in campus and community activities.

His last year on campus was the class of 2020’s first year, so he has enjoyed seeing how students have grown as students and people. He has also missed the friends and community at McDaniel. He believes that the community is outstanding and the supportive, kind, and caring people in the English department, McDaniel, and Carroll County as a whole are what has kept him connected to the College.