Get to know Vanderbilt’s new residential faculty: Emily Pendergrass

Peabody professor Emily Pendergrass with her husband, Josh, daughter, Kat, and dog, Scooter, outside West House, where she will serve as faculty head of house. (John Russell/Vanderbilt)

One of the special parts of student life at Vanderbilt is the university’s uniquely personal and collaborative residential college experience. Undergraduate houses and colleges are led by faculty who live in community with students. Meet the university’s newest faculty heads of house in this special series.

  • Name: Emily Pendergrass
  • Residential college: West House
  • Faculty position: Associate professor of literacy and director of reading education, Department of Teaching and Learning
  • Years at Vanderbilt: Starting my 11th
  • Hometown: I was born outside Atlanta and grew up outside Nashville.
  • Favorite song: “Nobody’s Stopping You Now” by Lake Street Drive
  • Favorite book: Impossible to answer! I love all the books! I do teach a class called “Harry Potter and Children’s Literature.” I absolutely adore this series of books and what it’s done for kids and their reading lives.
  • Favorite food: Spaghetti
  • Favorite spot on campus: Wyatt Lawn
  • What are you most looking forward to in the coming academic year? I am excited about connecting with students again. After 18 months of Zoom, I’ve missed being in person with students and colleagues.
  • Why do you value being a faculty head of house, or what do you love about the residential college experience? As a faculty head of house on The Commons, I value starting new relationships that can last a lifetime.
  • What advice do you have for new students coming to campus? And returning students? For both groups, take advantage of the resources and events on campus. There are so many opportunities to connect and learn outside of the academic classroom. Choose wisely and plug in to organizations and events that you are passionate about.

    Faculty Head of West House, Emily Pendergrass gets help from her daughter, Kat, as she moves in to her West House apartment.

Read about other faculty heads of house in this series.

Learn more about Vanderbilt’s residential colleges.