- BA in English, Ball State University (1997);
- MA in English--American Literature, Indiana University (2000);
- PhD in Rhetoric and Composition--Digital Literacies, Ball State University (2014)
Research and/or Creative Interests
My recent publications focus on faculty development and student engagement in online instructional environments, and my research interests include digital literacies, teaching with technology, and online writing instruction. Specifically, I examine how the work of human computer interaction scholars influences and informs online writing instruction. I am greatly invested in writing program administration, writing center work, and non-tenure track faculty and graduate student professional development and mentoring. In short, I like to study and talk about teaching, teaching, and mentoring.
I love teaching everything: first-year composition, research writing, research methods, teaching writing, digital literacies, professional writing.
I have adopted a flexible approach to the classroom that is informed by inquiry, collaboration, and reflection. Most of my classes task students to work to create their own knowledge; I approach every class with the question, “What do I want them to do?” As students maneuver through the projects of the course, my goal is to give them skills to develop their own questions, seek out feedback on their work, and reflect on the meaning of what they do. I hope as students leave my classes, they have developed the self-reliance to communicate responsibly in the world.
Why did you become an English professor?
When I graduated with my BA, I had no idea what I wanted to do next but I knew I liked learning, so I went to grad school. There I discovered that I loved teaching and helping people become better writers.
Why teach X?
Teaching writing to college students is what I consider one of my contributions to a healthy society, an informed electorate. For me, it's a moral imperative that I help people think and assess the information they encounter everyday so that we don't becomeIdiocracy (2006). As I tell my students, my goal is for you to be able to argue with your drunk uncle at Thanksgiving so reasonably and politely that grandma doesn't ban you next year.
Outside of being a professor, what do you do for fun and/or relaxation?
I love popular culture: tv, movies, comics. I generally enjoy these things while wearing my Wonder Woman Snuggie. I'm moderately concerned that I won't need it anymore in TN, however.
What are your expectations of students?
I expect students to care: that caring can be of the pragmatic "I have to pass this class" or idealistic "I love writing" variety. I expect students to be prepared to learn and encounter new ideas: if we know everything before the class begins, how productive can we be? I expect students to own their education: as I'm not clairvoyant, I can't tell when students need more help, so it's important for students to engage and ask questions.
What's something about you that might surprise your students?
I love karaoke...and I make a pretty awesome sugar cookie.