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Dr. Fatima Lawson, an instructor in the M.A. in English as a Second Language program, has had a long, winding journey to Saint Mary’s. She was born and raised in northern Nigeria, in a community where (Western) education was often discouraged, particularly for young women. However, driven by her curiosity and thirst for knowledge, she first completed undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Ife in Nigeria, and then continued to complete another master’s and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Today, as a Minnesota-based educator, in addition to teaching at Saint Mary’s, Fatima keeps busy as a principal at Saint Paul Public Schools. She draws on her lived experiences, bringing her international perspectives from around the world into the classroom, finding ways to connect with her students and embrace the multiple experiences that co-exist. She has been teaching a variety of ESL courses at Saint Mary’s since 2014 (Advanced Methods Instruction for ELLs, Second Language Acquisition, and Writing Instruction) and finds whatever she brings to the classroom is quickly reflected in and through students who “match it with their interests, enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge!

When she takes off her professional mask, she enjoys reading, writing poetry, being with family and friends, eating with her fingers, traveling, and just being herself!

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