Women of Western: Heather Steinmann

Women of Western: Heather Steinmann

Silver City, NM- Dr. Heather Steinmann is an Assistant Professor of Writing at Western New Mexico University and her achievements and her involvement with the community make her a celebrated woman of WNMU.  Originally from North Dakota, Dr. Steinmann came to Western in 2015, accepting a job in the Humanities Department and finished writing her dissertation during her first semester.

In addition to a PhD in Writing, Rhetoric, and Culture, she also has a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English. One of her recently published poems, “Fetish: For Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind,” won the 15th Moon Prize from Writing in a Woman’s Voice. Dr. Steinmann taught for over a decade at five other colleges before coming to WNMU.

At a young age, Dr. Steinmann found her deep love for literature. Her passion followed her in college where she took all the English courses she could manage, turning her life-long passion into her career. Writing is not her only field of focus, for she is also a certified yoga instructor. Dr. Steinmann tells of her lucky find one day during her 20’s– a yoga class on VHS. This was the start of a journey that lead her to a healthier and balanced way of life. Wanting to bring her yoga practice to the next level, Dr. Steinmann became a certified yoga instructor and gives classes every third Thursday at The Center for Gender Equity and Social Justice.

Dr. Steinmann says that “teaching yoga is entirely different than teaching writing. There are no rubrics in yoga, no grades. Writing is about audience–yoga is about the individual.”

Dr. Steinmann is also the faculty advisor for the WNMU chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, an international honor society for English majors. They’re the ones you see selling cookies a couple times a semester in the entryway of the student union. Dr. Steinmann is very proud of them, as they are presenting at a national conference this spring and have raised and been awarded all of the money to get themselves there. Advising this group of students is especially a joy to her because they instigate and carry off all of their activities almost by themselves. “They’re a really self-motivated group of students, who work hard to accomplish their goals,” Dr. Steinmann says. Sigma Tau Delta will give WNMU students and faculty their presentation before they travel to present it in Cincinnati this spring.

A link to Dr. Steinmann’s award-winning poem can be found here: