Education

  • BA, Berry College, English Major with Creative Writing Minor 
  • MS, University of Montana, Environmental Studies
  • MFA, Warren Wilson College, Creative Writing (Fiction) 

Research and/or Creative Interests
Novel writing, literature and the environment, place-based writing

Teaching Interests
Environmental and Place-Based Literature, Scientific Writing, Creative Writing, Rhetoric and Composition, Field Studies and outdoor education  

Teaching Approach
As a teacher, my goal is always to meet students where they are, and encourage them to connect whatever we are doing in the course to their own interests and passions (and possibly use the course to discover new ones!). I do this through a lot of one-on-one interaction, both in class and in individual conferences. 

Why did you become an English professor?
Being an English professor allows me to spend my time pursuing my passions -- reading, writing, and talking to others about reading and writing. I have found that it also allows me to incorporate and find balance with many other things I love, like being outside, whether that means reading student essays on a park bench or teaching place-based literature and taking field trips to natural areas. 

Why teach X?
Reading and writing are immensely valuable skills, in my view, both in terms of how central they are to being an informed, active citizen in a democracy, and also in terms of the deeply personal and transformative power they can have on an individual's life. I feel privileged to be a part of students' experiences of reading and writing on all of these levels. 

Outside of being a professor, what do you do for fun and/or relaxation?
Play with my kids (outside, as often as possible), hang out with family and friends, do yoga, listen to The Lord of the Rings trilogy on repeat on Audible. 

What are your expectations of students?
I expect students to be fully present and engaged in class, and to be open to new ideas and new perspectives. I expect that they treat everyone in our class community with respect and kindness (because we're all in this together). 

What's something about you that might surprise your students?
I used to teach yoga in Federal prison.