When associate professor of English Stephen Yandell was in high school, he began collecting Scandinavian shelves for his ever-growing book collection—shelves that have, as it turned out, followed him to college, then grad school and finally to Xavier where they have taken up residence in his Hinkle Hall office. Cleverly arranged to create an arched doorway just inside the main door, the shelves give him the space to display the 1,100-plus volumes he’s collected over the years, which are neatly arranged by categories: literature (think medieval Beowulf, Tolkien and the Canterbury Tales), language (linguistics) and literary criticism.
The draping plants and welcoming gargoyle on the top shelf help create a homey feel. “I want students to know they’re in a welcoming space,” says Yandell, who was voted Teacher of the Year last year by University students. “The doorway gives me more book space but also when the students come in, we will sit together and talk. They can’t sit by the door.”