Get to know Vanderbilt’s new residential faculty: Teresa Goddu

Teresa Goddu, faculty head of E. Bronson Ingram House, with her husband, faculty member Yoshikuni Igarashi (John Russell/Vanderbilt University)

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: Teresa Goddu
  • Residential college: E. Bronson Ingram College
  • Faculty position: Associate professor of English and American studies
  • Years at Vanderbilt: 30
  • Hometown: Durham, New Hampshire
  • Favorite book: It is unfair to ask an English professor their favorite book—there are just too many. Instead, I will tell you that my favorite author is Toni Morrison. The power of her thought is matched only by the beauty of her language.
  • Favorite food: Japanese cuisine. Luckily, my husband, who is Japanese, is a great cook!
  • Favorite spot on campus: The ginkgo tree outside of Bronson. Known as Galloway’s ginkgo, it is one of the oldest trees on campus, and the architects designed the building around it due to its historical significance and beauty. I’m looking forward to fall when its fan-shaped leaves turn golden.
  • What are you most looking forward to for the upcoming academic year? Like everyone else, I’m excited to return to in-person teaching and learning.
  • What do you love about the residential college experience? As an undergraduate at Yale, I learned firsthand the power of the residential college experience—its ability to create collaborative communities, its focus on fostering learning outside of the classroom and its nurturing of the whole student. I look forward to bringing Bronson residents together to share their diverse ideas, to engage in new experiences and, most of all, to have fun.
  • What advice do you have for new students coming to campus? And returning students? We all need to remember to take things easy this year. Last year was difficult for everyone, and we are not out of the woods yet with the pandemic. We need to show kindness to ourselves and each other.
  • Tell us a funny or poignant experience you’ve had at Vanderbilt.
    Once, I was sitting in a lecture on the Civil War, and the propane percussion canons that Vanderbilt used for the humane dispersal of crows roosting in campus trees went off just as the lecturer was discussing the bombardment of Fort Sumter. The booms startled us all!
  • What do you love about working at Vanderbilt? The people—both students and colleagues—as well as our beautiful campus, which I now get to call my backyard.
Teresa Goddu is faculty head of E. Bronson Ingram College, a residential college open to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Goddu and her husband, Yoshikuni Igarashi, moved in this summer.

Read about other faculty heads of house in this series.

Learn more about Vanderbilt’s residential colleges.