The King’s College's Newest Literature Professor has a Lifelong Passion for Books

 All photos courtesy of Wesley Parnell 

All photos courtesy of Wesley Parnell 

For success in the teaching industry, you need to be passionate. Professor Joshua Mackin, instructor of writing, shares his fresh, passion-filled experience as a new college faculty member. As an entrepreneur with his own writing, Mackin is making a name for himself while sharing his talent with others.

Mackin grew up in the Philippines, in an area called Quezon City, until his family moved to Pennsylvania. He then attended Messiah College and briefly lived in Florida.

His love for writing led him to move to New York in the summer of 2009 to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at The New School.

If one mentions literature, Mackin’s face lights up. He shared that his favorite authors are Cynthia Ozick, Dennis Johnson, and Peter Carey. However, he favors poetry and fiction.

“You get kind of an experience. There is the possibility of human empathy and understanding,” Mackin said.

“You get kind of an experience. There is the possibility of human empathy and understanding,” Mackin said. “One of the things I really like about a novel, for instance, is I think it’s a medium, where you can have kind of the exterior world and the interior world kind of brought together in a certain balance. And the beautiful fluidity, where you can pass from one to the other, I think is one of the strengths of the genre of novels and fiction writing generally.”

He mentioned how he desires to be more empathetic, as he said he wants to see the world from a new perspective. He adds that he finds comfort in “the space between reader and writer.”

“It came really early for me. I have really always been attracted to the written word, even before I could write,” Mackin said.

Mackin's passion originated young when he looked up to his older sister and her literacy.

Mackin’s parents cherished literature, often sharing books with him and his sister. Due to this, he was constantly picking up the next book to keep up with his family, since it helped him connect with them.

“It came really early for me. I have really always been attracted to the written word, even before I could write,” Mackin said. “So when I was very very little, I would dictate stories to my sister, and she would write them down to me. And then I’d illustrate them with childish drawings.”

In addition to previously working as a middle school and high school teacher, Mackin is building a career as a writer and trying to publish his works of short fiction.

He has written the first draft of a novel and is attempting to find an agent. However after graduating, he was looking for something more than researching and writing: to teach at the college level.

The organization Campus Crusade for Christ, that helped form The King’s College, was Mackin’s first introduction to the school, since his parents were involved with the organization.

“When you’re a Christian in the city, you kind of inevitably run into King’s students,” said Mackin, with humor in his voice.

In the summer of 2017, Dr. Ethan Campbell, a Brooklyn resident and professor of English and Literature, hired Mackin for a full time teaching position at King’s.

“I think what makes him a good writer is that he has passion. Professor Mackin comes to class everyday with an in-depth knowledge of the readings and authors, but more than that, he presents the information in such a passionate manner that you can’t help but be in awe of him, in that moment,” said Mona Wang.

“He brings a real energy to the writing classes and he knows a lot about different types of writing,” Campbell said.     

Graduating from The New School in May of 2017, Mackin shares his love for literature, as a new addition to the English faculty at The King’s College.

“I think what makes him a good writer is that he has passion," said Mona Wang, a freshman student from Houston. "Professor Mackin comes to class everyday with an in-depth knowledge of the readings and authors, but more than that, he presents the information in such a passionate manner that you can’t help but be in awe of him, in that moment. Professor Mackin is a good role model for the students because he has curiosity and drive.”

Students around campus have grown fond of Mackin’s teaching style. Each student is drawn in by his overwhelming passion.

“He’s precious. I can’t tell if Professor Mackin is or is not Andy Samberg,”Audrey Pickett, a freshman who was his student last semester, said. “He’s also a really good grader and lets you know why he grades you the way that he does, which a lot of teachers don't do.”

Passion for Mackin extends beyond teaching and travels into his home life as well. He enjoys playing soccer and watches a game every weekend. In addition, he is involved in a fantasy soccer league with his friends. However, the new addition to his family has taken his attention, as he would rather spend every moment with his daughter.

“Being a family man is a relatively new identity for me because she is 6 months old,” Mackin said. “It’s a delight to go home. It really is, to see her. She’s so smiley. It’s very gratifying to come home and have her light up.”    

It is easy to tell what inspires Mackin from his animated responses, and students now have the opportunity to learn from Mackin, captivated by his lifelong passion.