Feb 2, 2010

Bonebright brightens the classroom

by Gaetane Maurice

Good professors do more than just teach, they make an effort to influence their students. Mass Communication Writing professor Amy Bonebright wants to give her undergraduate students a beneficial and worthwhile experience.

“The relationship that you form with your professor is really important,” Bonebright said. “It really helps the learning process.”

Bonebright grew up in Chattanooga, Tenn., and attended Word of Life Bible Institute in Schroonlake, N.Y., her freshman year of college. She transferred to Liberty to complete her undergraduate degree. Bonebright later attended the graduate school at Regent University in Alexandria, Va.

“I wanted to go to a Christian school and there were few colleges back then that were Christian where you could actually study something other than becoming a pastor,” Bonebright said. “Liberty was a great choice.”

According to Bonebright, she decided in high school that she wanted to write for a newspaper or some sort of media outlet.

When she graduated from Liberty, Bonebright wrote for two small community newspapers in central Virginia, the Nelson County Times and the Amherst New-Era Progress.

“Beginning as a reporter only making $7.25 an hour is not a lot of money,” Bonebright said. “Choosing something that you love, and enjoying going to work every day is more important over money.”
Bonebright began teaching at Liberty six years ago and has taught in the School of Communication full time for the last

four years. Bonebright regularly follows and gains inspiration from journalist Jake Tapper and bloggers Mary Katherine Ham and Amanda Carpenter.

Bonebright is knowledgeable about her area of expertise and wants to see her students do well, according to sophomore Rebecca Alvarado.

“I looked forward to her class every time,” Alvarado said. “I learned how to prepare myself for the workforce and also enjoy what I could potentially do for the rest of my life.“

Bonebright believes that the classroom should be interactive. Having students involved gives them a better understanding of the subject.

“I can see students eyes light up … when they feel they have the opportunity to input in the conversation and they realize that I value their opinion,” Bonebright said.

Bonebright and her husband Kelly have two children, Ellie, 2, and 7-month old Jesse.

“My family is my biggest influence,” Bonebright said. “For good and for bad.”

Bonebright gives credit to her husband for her teaching style and motivation. Bonebright’s husband had a rough childhood. He dropped out of high school and taught himself to read at the age of 18. Her husband is now completing his dissertation for a Ph.D. in counseling at Liberty, according to Bonebright.

“This story should really be about him,” Bonebright said. “He has a really cool story.”

Taking what her husband has taught her about school, Bonebright tries to implement different ideas and to relate to her students the best that she can.

“I love her teaching style,” sophomore Tola Adamson said. “She simplifies everything and always gives clear instructions. She is willing to help you improve your writing skills and genuinely cares about how we do in the class.”

Bonebright believes that communication is something that everyone experiences and wants students to voice their opinions.
“I don’t like to hear myself talk all the time,” Bonebright said.
“When I have a day that’s a lecture, it is not thrilling to me. I try to think of questions and ways I can engage the students.”

Contact Gaetane Maurice at

Printable Version

» Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center aims for change
» Liberty alumni lead mission trip
» Yale grad to visit for ‘Alumni Lecture Series’
» Plein Air Painters: Nothing “Plein” about it
» Bird song vs. the Big Bang: Creation and Engineering Guest Lecturer
» Scaremare returns to thrill audiences
» Daniel Chapman, the gold-sequin hat guy