Dr. Constance Malloy, professor of English, is retiring after 27 years at Hastings College. Through the years, Dr. Malloy has supported many campus organizations; mentored hundreds of students; provided hospitality to students, immigrants and refugees; and conducted several J-Term classes following a French theme—from cooking and film to travel to France. A native of Stockton, California, she earned bachelor’s degrees in English and French from the University of the Pacific in 1973, a master’s in English from California State University–Sacramento in 1981 and a Ph.D. in English from the University of California–Davis in 1988. This piece is written by Jocelyn Delgado ‘15.
By Jocelyn Delgado ‘15
Constance Malloy started working at Hastings College in 1992. She first entered my awareness from the periphery, a prominent figure in my roommate’s life.
The story started out with a character, an English professor, whose mother had recently died. Class had been canceled, as the professor would be returning to California to attend to related matters. She purchased a sports car either in an effort to soothe the pain of a tremendous loss, or simply because she wanted to. No matter the reason, it was apparent that my roommate admired this professor, perhaps for her deep devotion and concern for a loved one, her connection of a shared native state or her unapologetic act of self-love in the face of a difficult situation. Perhaps it was all three.
Acting as audience to this story, I didn’t quite understand how it, or this woman, related to me. However, as I listened to detail after detail, the simple point was revealed: after only a few days of being in her class, my roommate had been greatly impacted by her professor, simply called “Constance.”
Constance remained, to me, a character in a story until the next year when I enrolled in her Modern Short Fiction class. I was really upset when she graded my first paper. I had spent a quality three hours on said paper, which had me feeling A confident. Besides, I had been labeled a “good writer” at a young age and was used to getting A’s.
By the time Constance had finished with this particular one, the piece was covered with comments, and I certainly hadn’t been granted an A.
I pushed through my initial pride and reluctance, took Constance’s feedback, revised, polished and ultimately produced a paper I was actually proud of, and not because of the grade I had received on it, but because it was a damn good piece of writing. I never truly understood the process of refinement until I knew Constance.
Constance has served the community of Hastings College for more than a quarter of a century. For many students, their experience of their professors end in the classroom. For those at Hastings College, the classroom is merely where Constance’s impact began. Over the course of my time at HC, Constance played many roles in my life: travel companion, mentor, confidant, housemate, friend.
It is well known to not only me, but all those who know her, that Constance shares all of who she is and what she has with others. She has invited many in need into her home for a meal, or even to stay. This she did for me, as she has done for countless others in the Hastings community.
Though she has never told me, I have come to understand many things about Constance Malloy.
She has raised her sons Thomas and James to be fiercely independent, defiant, confident and authentic individuals who continue to change the world with their brilliance and artistry. Her relationship with her husband is to be admired, a beautiful result of humanist meets scientist.
Her compliments hold weight. Her laughter isn’t merely a placeholder. And her constructive criticism means that you really could stand to improve.
Constance loves cheese more than any person you’ll ever meet. And she embraces cultures different from her own through language, cuisine and genuine curiosity, so as to better love and appreciate the people with whom she comes into contact.
She is an artist, she is a feminist (and she was before it was in vogue), she is unapologetic, she is a role model, she is the type of person to name a chicken after you.
And most importantly, she is who she is…steadfast: Constance.