My pedagogy endeavors to connect digital composition with the prospect of social change. Throughout my career, I have served as Assistant Director of First-Year Composition as well as a Graduate Teacher of Record at Clemson University, and as an Adjunct Lecturer at SUNY Cortland. In these positions, in addition to my administrative and committee work, I have taught in a variety of roles:
Clemson University (2018-2022):
ENG 3040: Business Writing
Summer 2020- (Syllabus with Assignment Prompts) (Online)
ENG 3140: Technical Writing
Summer 2021- (Syllabus)
ENG 1030: Composition and Rhetoric
Spring 2021– (Syllabus) (Online)
Fall 2020– (Syllabus) (Online)
Spring 2020– (Syllabus)
Fall 2019– (Syllabus)
At SUNY Cortland (2016-2018):
At Onondaga Community College (2016):
English 099: Basic Writing
As Assistant Director Of First Year Composition….
… I assist early-career graduate students in their teaching of First Year Composition, which for many is their first experience teaching at the college level. I assist in writing, developing, and refining the curriculum for Clemson University’s First Year Composition program, including helping to format assignment prompts, standards for assessment, and future curricula and . Additionally, I create content for program-wise usage, including our program’s YouTube channel, which features videos on academic research, on researching with social media, and on assignment prompts that students, instructors, and other program stakeholders all make use of. Lastly, I assemble lesson plans, assignments, resource lists (such as where to find Creative Commons OER multimedia assets for multimodal projects, or guides to which video editing software to use), and other materials that a variety of programmatic stakeholders make use of.
When I teach Technical Communication….
… My Technical Communication courses are grounded in a commitment to communication across difference. When I teach Technical Communication courses, my students cultivate skills in audience analysis, document design, tone, diction, delivery, circulation, genre, interface, and social dynamics that are developed through practice. My Technical Communication courses value composing in varied media (video, audio, text, image) and focus on assessing what audiences need, desire, and require, and on how empowered communicators can tailor messages that meet and compliment these needs. Students in my courses begin by learning the basics of Technical Communication through preparation of technical documents such as resumes and cover letters that are tailored for a specific audience: a job posting in their field or industry. They quickly transition to writing in common Technical Communication genres, though, and compose Technical Guides, Product Reports, Policy Change Memos, Product Recommendation Reports, “Bad News Emails,” and New Inquiry Letters across the arc of the semester. Students gain familiarity with composing in writing, but also in media that include infographics, videos, and web pages. Students in my Technical Communications courses create Social Media Content Strategy Plans and Interaction with Internet Audiences Organizational Guides that address systemic issues in the world as part of the “Social Media as Technical Communication & Social Justice” Project. In the end, students leave my Technical Communication courses as better communicators, better writers and document designers, and as better practitioners of technical genres in their individual industries, disciplines, and careers.
When I teach Business Communication….
…My Business Communication courses are grounded in XXXXX…
When I teach First Year Composition….
…My First Year Composition courses are grounded in a commitment to nurturing XXXXXXX…….
My Teaching Philosophy:
Building Communities of Active Rhetorical Engagement: A Statement of Teaching Philosophy
First-year composition is oftentimes the first intellectual community a student is immersed in during their college studies. I teach courses beyond first-year composition, of course, but this approach to pedagogy remains formative and foundational regardless of content: effective learning environments, in my practice, strive to foreground the needs of students above all else. With this consideration in mind, my courses tend to avoid monomodal, passive, static, or uninvolved models of learning. Following this, my teaching philosophy can be described as actively foregrounding three primary pedagogical values that influence nearly everything my students and I do in the classroom: (1) strategic and inclusive community building, (2) active engagement and learning, and (3) a deliberate, visible, and sustained valuing of the knowledges and experiences students bring to the classroom each and every day.
First, my pedagogy foregrounds the building, and continual re-building, of communities of practice that strive for openness, appreciation of difference, and expansive but healthy discussion. Communication and open dialogue are important aspects of classrooms foregrounding the affective, valued knowledges contributed by students, as are clearly-defined expectations for students as members contributing to a diverse community of ideas. It is my goal to foster a classroom setting where safe, impactful, and dynamic learning can occur. We accomplish this through scaffolding approaches to individual class sessions: we might spend one session discussing a particular reading, another in an active learning activity, another session combining the two with small group work in pre-assigned “breakout groups,” which are foundational in my pedagogy. Alternatively, many class sessions mix and layer these approaches, striving to mobilize students knowledge, enthusiasm, and interest in a variety of different ways.
Secondly, my pedagogy promotes active learning and engagement with course content in a variety of forms. In a particular rhetoric course, my students might be writing and designing visual advertisements that engage the rhetorical appeals, or working through a citation scavenger hunt, or writing emoji poetry to engage conversations on language, diction, and the power of words. Similarly, students might be collaboratively writing and peer reviewing thesis statements, creating magazine covers to cement understandings of visual rhetoric, or be engaged in visually mapping arguments using Mindmup software. My pedagogy deeply values multimodal composition, as formulated by scholars such as Shipka (2011), Selfe (2007), and Arroyo (2013), working to actively demonstrate commitments to the habits of mind identified in the “Framework For Success in Post-Secondary Writing” jointly endorsed by the NCTE, CWPA, and the NWP. This commitment is demonstrated in action by the multimodal projects my students and I have completed, which include a “Retold Histories of Clemson” documentary filmmaking initiative as well as a “History of Clemson” podcasting project. Similarly, my pedagogy values active engagement with rhetoric, writing, and composition, as demonstrated by initiatives using collaborative writing software such as the network composition platform Yellowdig.
Lastly, I seek always to embody an active commitment to valuing students both as Clemson community members as well as experts in their own histories, experiences, and perspectives, especially along lines of race, gender, disability, and sexual orientation. My pedagogy endeavors to extend classroom commitments toward appreciations of experiential, vernacular, and emotional knowledges, which Cheryl Glenn (2018) contends are essential to helping foster environments capable of empowering the agencies of students in rhetorical learning environments (145). Infused into all aspects of my courses, this commitment manifests in course content, such as a commitment to appreciating diverse spectrums of linguistic practices in the composition space (Young 2010), as well as in course practice and activities, which foreground classroom issues of accessability and inclusion (Dolmage 2017). Ultimately, I strive to value the needs, principles, and aspirations of students above all else.
In summary, I am committed to providing a learning experience that is rigorous, open-ended, and empowering for students. Above all, I treat my students and their backgrounds with the utmost respect, and believe that even the most experienced teacher can learn from a diverse classroom community full of varied experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives. Among the greatest qualities for a teacher to have is the ability to learn and grow through the act of teaching, and I have found students tend to be excellent teachers in a multitude of different ways. I pride myself on developing personal relationships with students, and on recognizing each student as a respected, valued individual. It has been my observation that students tend to reward this commitment to education by committing to it themselves with comparable vigor, energy and enthusiasm, and that is among the most rewarding aspects of working as a teacher in higher education.
Arroyo, Sarah J. Participatory Composition: Video Culture, Writing, and Electracy. Southern Illinois University Press, 2013.
Dolmage, Jay. Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education. University of Michigan Press, 2017.
Glenn, Cheryl. Rhetorical Feminism and This Thing Called Hope. Southern Illinois University Press, 2018.
“Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing.” Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA), National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and National Writing Project (NWP), 2011.
Young, Vershawn Ashanti. “Should Writers Use They Own English?” Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 12, no. 1, 2010, pp. 110–18.
Selfe, Cynthia L., editor. Multimodal Composition: Resources for Teachers. Hampton Press, 2007.
Shipka, Jody. Toward a Composition Made Whole. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011.