Paul and PJ – Faculty Spotlight: Steve Criniti


An institution of education is only as good as its teachers. A good educator will have passion in the subject they teach, makes sure their students’ educational needs are met, and takes pride in every aspect of their job. West Liberty University employees many exemplary educators that model these traits. This Faculty Spotlight highlights Dr. Stephen Criniti, an English professor at West Liberty University for the last 13 years. In our conversation with Dr. Criniti, he tells us more than just how he got into teaching English or how he ended up at West Liberty, but rather he goes into subjects such as the recent book bannings and some books he recommends for all readers.

In his time at West Liberty, Dr. Criniti has received multiple awards and accolades for the work he has been doing. In this podcast, he tells us about his 2020 Teacher of the Year Award, as well as multiple faculty awards.

However, Dr. Criniti does not teach for the awards and recognitions. He tells us that the reason for pursuing his master’s degree was that he “wasn’t done talking about books with smart people.” In addition to talking about literature, Dr. Criniti enjoys teaching because he wants to make a difference in his student’s lives and help them with their educational journeys. He feels the West Liberty experience is unique because he gets to teach people, not just content, and is given the chance to educate, impact, and guide those young adults for the better.