Since arriving on campus in 2007, Emily J. Orlando, Ph. D. has had the privilege of calling Fairfield University home.
“I am every day reminded how lucky I am to be here,” Orlando remarks.
Orlando is professor of English and the E. Gerald Corrigan chair in humanities and social science. She also serves as internship coordinator for the English department. As an English professor here at Fairfield, Orlando has spent years sharing her passion with countless fortunate students. Some of her courses include “American Realism and Naturalism” and “Literature by Women: Vision and Revision,” but Orlando’s passion, in which she has an impressive amount of expertise, is her study of Edith Wharton.
When asked why she chose English as her field of study, Orlando cited both Kate Chopin and Edith Wharton as key influences. However, this passion for literature exists at a more profound level.
“I believe reading makes us better humans, not to mention better writers” remarks Orlando. “Of course, I had extraordinary undergraduate professors. I wanted to be them when I grew up.”
Her students would agree that the word extraordinary would be an understatement in a description of her.
Besides being an English professor, Orlando has quite a few outside interests. She enjoys spending her free time going to the gym, practicing yoga and going for walks. Her preference in television shows trends in a certain genre.
“I’ve really liked some of the darker narratives: ‘Succession,’ ‘Ozark,’ ‘Billions’ and ‘Bloodline,’ for example.”
Orlando also loves fashion. This fact comes as no surprise to her students who constantly see her come to class dressed in style. If she were not teaching or working in an art museum, she claims she would be a professional shopper.
“My husband can confirm that I am very good at shopping,” adds Orlando with a smile.
One thing about Orlando that most of her students and colleagues know is that she is a loving and devoted dog-mom. During the current circumstances of quarantining and not being present on campus, her dogs have served as a bright spot in her life.
“They are the best part about working from home,” she remarks.
The two tri-colored beagles, Levi and Molly, each have their own unique relationship with their mom. She describes Levi, the whopping 18-and-a-half-year-old, as “the elder statesman miracle beagle.”
“He’s a gentle old soul and he’s been by my side since we adopted him in 2003,” says Orlando.
Molly on the other hand, is much more mischievous than her big brother, and Orlando credits Molly with adding years to Levi’s life. Molly has even been brought to campus over the years for the end-of-semester event called, “A Beagle and Bagel.”
Every student who has the chance to take a class with Orlando should seize the opportunity, for the experience will be a pleasant, rewarding semester of great discussion about amazing literature. Even if such an opportunity does not present itself, a trip to her office or a chance encounter on campus would be a great excuse for fantastic conversation about literature, fashion or a love of beagles.