Alumna returns to 'Hurst as faculty member

Mercyhurst welcomed 14 new faculty members this year, among whom was Mercyhurst graduate Gena Kost.

Gena Kost, M.A., instructor of world languages, graduated from Mercyhurst in 1987 with an English Education Degree.

Kost devotes much of her time at Mercyhurst toward working with students transitioning over from other countries.

“I teach in the Intensive English Program, so I teach the English language to international students who need to gain a level of proficiency in English high enough to be able to enter college,” Kost said.

In addition, Kost also teaches an education class that all education majors in Pennsylvania are required to take, known as Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students. It is an introductory course for pre-service teachers English as Second Language (ESL) students.

The class prepares future teachers for knowing what to “do if you are teaching fourth grade and a Chinese student shows up in your class and does not speak English,” Kost said.

Having not been at Mercyhurst for quite some time, Kost said that her favorite aspect of Mercyhurst from a teaching perspective is the challenging students to help them learn.

“I like hearing students say about other classes and mine, ‘This is a hard class but I learned a lot,’ because I have friends and acquaintances who worked at other universities or studied under universities and the standards are not as high,” said Kost. “We challenge students to think but still find ways to be creative to help them have alternatives.”

Even after being away from Mercyhurst for several years, Kost continues to see it as an environment she is familiar with and comfortable working in.

“Everyone wants to work at their favorite place and Mercyhurst still really feels like a home,” said Kost. “It seems like the students feel at home here too.”