Dr. Caramine White is an Associate Professor of English. She completed her undergraduate studies at Duke University, majoring in Latin and psychology, before serving in the Navy for several years as an operations officer. After her service, Dr. White obtained an M.A. in English from Old Dominion University and received a fellowship at UNC-Greensboro where she got a Ph.D. in English. She taught abroad in Slovakia for a year on a Fulbright scholarship before joining Regent’s faculty and earning an M.A. in theology from Regent University.
What is your favorite part of teaching English?
When asked why she enjoys teaching English, Dr. White explained, “It teaches you how to live better because you read these wonderful works and they’re all about life and how to live. And some characters make mistakes, and some don’t, but [either way] you’re examining their lives in order to live your life better… You read about a fictional family so that, when you have your own family, you know what to do or what not to do…It’s really cool to be able to discuss [the] big questions that arise from reading English literature.”
What are your favorite authors and books?
“Hmm, oh I know—Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens. I’ve had two pets named after characters in that [book]. It’s the best! Charles Dickens is one of my favorite authors. I also love Thomas Hardy. I love a lot of authors… Chaucer could be another favorite too; Canterbury Tales is insanely awesome. But I’ll say Charles Dickens. He’s so good.”
Dr. White continued, “I try to read one Dickens novel each summer. I’ll be sitting out on the deck, and [the novel] is so funny or so wonderful that I will be laughing out loud, and my husband will be inside, [laughing], saying ‘Carrie, be quiet. You’re too loud.’ And I’ll mark passages to go read to my husband and be like, ‘Isn’t this beautiful?’”
Dr. White’s passion for English literature is something she developed at an early age. She said that even before deciding to pursue a teaching career in English, she used to read Jane Austin, Dickens, and the Brontes for pleasure.
What are your favorite hobbies?
“I exercise a lot. I’ve run 13 marathons, and I’ve done an Ironman.” Dr. White laughed while remarking that it may sound funny in light of what else she’s accomplished, but the Ironman triathlon is one of the things she’s most proud of.
“I trained for maybe five months for twenty hours a week, and I came in third in my age group.” Dr. White mentioned that, due to several surgeries, she is not running right now. “I’m doing three hours of yoga Saturday mornings and Sunday mornings. I [also] lift weights, and I swim, bike, and walk.”
Dr. White also discussed her writing. “I write for the newspaper, The Virginian-Pilot, and I also have a column in the Ghent Living Magazine called ‘Manners Matter.’ It’s more about living nicely. Manners, to me, are all about being nice to other people.”
“I’m on the board of directors for the Virginia Opera. I love the opera. When I was [teaching abroad] in Slovakia, I knew nobody, and there was nothing to do, but there was an opera house right down the street. And because the exchange rate was so good, the opera was like five dollars. So, I went thinking that if I hated it, I could just leave, and it was awesome; I loved it. So, that is where I started loving opera.”
When initially asked, Dr. White said her favorite opera was Carmen. However, after discussing it for a minute, Dr. White mentioned numerous operas which led her to conclude: “My favorite opera is the one I just saw.” She says, “There’s just something about the opera; I love it!”
Dr. White also talked about her love for animals. She currently owns two dogs that she absolutely adores. “I’ve got two dogs; they’re both strays. One I found on the side of the road, the other one a friend found.” Dr. White shared that she loves to get outdoors and walk with them. She has a drive for rescuing stray animals and providing a loving home for them.
What are you passionate about?
Dr. White shared that she is passionate about racial equality, animal rights, and organ donation. She believes that a good rule of thumb to live by is simply to help where you see a need. Dr. White stated, “I know I can’t save every lion in Africa or house every homeless person, but I try to help anyone who crosses my path. If I can help, I try to help.”
She is also passionate about loving people well. Dr. White has been married for thirteen years to her husband, Paul Campsen, who works as a semi-retired bankruptcy attorney at Kaufman & Canoles. Dr. White shared that she is still “very in love” with him. “During the pandemic, I was working at home, and he was working at home, and [the time together] just made me love him more.” Dr. White explained that she learned to love after she became a Christian.
Lastly, Dr. White shared that she has a huge heart for her students and believes that the opportunity to teach and mentor them is a gift. She said teaching from home this semester (Fall 2020) has been hard because she misses being with her students and colleagues. “It’s harder [this year] because I don’t get to see their faces. And I love my students… I’m [still] in contact with students I had ten years ago.”
The Daily Runner offers a huge thank you to Dr. White for taking the time to speak with us and investing in the students at Regent University.