Education professor wins fourth book award

Dr. Susan Finelli-Genovese, Associate Dean of K-12 Master of Arts in Education programs, has recently won a “Mom’s Choice Award” for her book “Life’s Garden.”
This is her fourth Mom’s Choice Award, having earned one for each of her four books.
Finelli-Genovese’s first book was “Life’s Amusement Park.” She said that while teaching third grade, she would share analogies with her class in an attempt to make sense of the drama that would happen in her student’s lives.
“When things are going good, they’re up, and when it’s bad, they’re down,” Finelli-Genovese gave an example, “It’s just like a roller-coaster, and you know what happens when you ride a roller-coaster too much—you get sick.”
When writing her books, Finelli-Genovese said, she

Jessica Newbacher
Dr. Susan Finelli-Genovese recently won her fourth “Mom’s Choice Award” for her book “Life’s Garden.”

starts with a theme, then she thinks about the length of the book and what the most important messages in the theme are. She then decides what to include. Finelli-Genovese also illustrates her own work.
“They come pretty natural,” Finelli-Genovese said. “I think about what I want to draw, and it’s in my head, then it’s just a matter of getting it onto paper. Sometimes I’ll look at photographs to make it more realistic. But when I sit down to write, I think about what I would want to say.”
These analogies have helped her students understand more complex ideas. The various analogies eventually coalesced into Finelli-Genovese’s first book. This book was shown in a New York book show and this was recognized by the Mom’s Choice Award, which then notified Finelli-Genovese, who then applied for the award and won.
“It started out as a creative outlet and a way to help out students,” said Finelli-Genovese, “but it motivated me and I started thinking about other ideas.”
Her success has led Finelli-Genovese to reconsider how she has approached her work from a marketing sense. She had not previously marketed her titles, sharing them mostly with family and friends, along with her class. Finelli-Genovese is changing this aspect of her publishing, now hiring students from the digital marketing clinic. She will be working with students during the spring semester to increase the audience for her books.
“The message in the books is good and important and with the world as it is today, and the crazy things going on, and even what I see with my own student’s stress that they feel and their search for meaning and hope, I’m taking this a bit more serious.”