As a committed and dedicated writing instructor, I value community, inclusivity, relationship building, and a commitment to genuine learning in every classroom environment that I enter. Throughout my career, I have served as Assistant Director of First-Year Composition as well as a Graduate Teacher of Record at Clemson University. At Clemson, I have taught more than ten sections of First Year Composition, as well as upper-division junior-and-senior level courses in Technical Communication and Business Communication. Additionally, I have experience as an Adjunct Lecturer at both SUNY Cortland and at Onondaga Community College in upstate New York. In these positions, in addition to my research, administrative, and committee work, I have taught in a variety of roles:
See my Statement of Teaching Philosophy.
Or, for Course Teacher Evaluations, sample syllabi and assignments, and other pertinent materials, see my Teaching Dossier.
For more on how I incorporate inclusivity, equity, and social justice into my teaching, see my Diversity Statement.
Clemson University (2018-2022):
ENG 3140: Technical Writing
Summer 2021- (Syllabus w/ assignment prompts)
ENG 3040: Business Writing
Summer 2020- (Syllabus with Assignment Prompts) (Online)
ENG 1030: Composition and Rhetoric
Spring 2022– (Syllabus)
Fall 2021– (Syllabus)
Spring 2021– (Syllabus) (Online)
Fall 2020– (Syllabus) (Online)
Spring 2020– (Syllabus)
Fall 2019– (Syllabus)
At SUNY Cortland (2016-2018):
Writing Studies II: Hacking the Curriculum
Writing Studies II: Writing for Public Benefit
Writing Studies II: Sparking Social Change
Writing Studies I
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, set standards for assessment, and build future curricula. 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. As Assistant Director of First Year Composition, I work with Clemson’s Writing Program Administrator to assist new and experienced instructors, to improve and develop pedagogical resources, and to address individual and program-wide challenges as they arise.
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 real and authentic job posting in their field or industry that they may end up applying for later on in their careers, assessing audience, exigence, purpose, and genre along the way. Students quickly transition into writing in common Technical Communication genres, 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, web pages, and social media accounts. Additionally, my technical communication courses strive to mobilize communication skills for the pursuit of equity, anti-racism, and social justice. For instance, 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. In the arc of my technical communication courses, students write in 15+ genres, assess a variety of audiences and learn how to tailor messages to them, connect the work of communication with the pursuit of social justice, and enact technical communication as both a theory and a practice that can help address some of the 21st century’s most important challenges.
When I teach Business Communication….
…My Business Communication courses are grounded in a commitment to practice (in the form of writing in 10+ genres and for an array of audiences, exigencies, and media) as well as to theory (in the form of attention to Business Communication’s dimensions related to cultural representation, inclusivity, intercultural communication, and communication across difference). Students in my Business Communication courses practice business communication in a variety of genres, including through discussion but also enactment of genres such as specialized industry reports, inter-office memos, professional reports, adjustment letters, meeting plan memos, “change-needed interpersonal emails,” “bad news emails,” “bad news letters,” resumes, cover letters, reports for “a concerned general public,” and even two genres of a students own selection/creation that they envision writing in later on in their professional career. Additionally, my Business Communication students attend to audiences as varied and diverse as a potential future employer found on Indeed.com, an internal company committee, an underserved customer, an underperforming employee, an inter-departmental committee meeting assembly, a “concerned general public,” and an audience of their industry or disciplinary peers. In my Business Communication courses, I foster a commitment to not only the technical and professional aspects of Business Communication, but also to the cultural, political, interpersonal, and justice-concerned dimensions entailed in business communication as well. Some of the signature projects in my Business Communication courses include the “Routine Week of Business Communication, Week A/B” projects, the “Career Report” project, the “Resume and Cover Letter as Business Communication” project, and the “Personalized Career Communications” project. You can read more about these projects, or about my Business Communication course goals and outcomes, on my Business Communication course syllabus.
When I teach First Year Composition….
…My First Year Composition courses are grounded in a commitment to nurturing empowered, proficient, ethical, and inclusive communication practices that help students to accomplish their own communication goals as well as those that serve the public. First Year Composition is oftentimes the first intellectual community that students are a part of in college, and as such, the course is an exciting opportunity to read, write, view, create, and compose in forms that are brand new and incredibly meaningful for students and their academic, professional, social, and personal growth. I am a teacher first, and in many ways, my teaching is my research.
I view First Year Composition as an opportunity to dive deep into culture; to explore deeply and thoroughly how language helps us to build communities, identities, and lifeworlds; to consider research, genre, writing, reading, and media as central to academic, personal, and social lives; and finally to practice the art of writing in a multitude of important forms. My First Year Composition courses center (a) rhetorical knowledge, (b) critical thinking, writing, and reading, (c) processes of composing, (d) knowledge of writing and composition skills, and (e) composing in electronic environments. In my First Year Composition courses, typical projects and assignments might include a Position Statement for a Public Audience project, a Landmark Analysis project, a Mapping the Controversy project, a documentary filmmaking project, a counternarrative GIS mapping project, a visual rhetorical analysis & magazine cover composition project, a local history counterstory podcasting project, or an Infosphere Probe project. Additionally, I place great value on active and participatory learning, and try to challenge students to practice writing, research, composition, and reading skills with low-stakes, active, collaborative activities. Writing and rhetoric are actions, and are based on doing, on making, and on practice. My courses reflect this: we do not simply theorize or conceptualize writing, rhetoric, and culture, but also practice it and enact it. My First Year Composition courses strive to elevate the voices of marginalized students (see my dissertation Inventing Network Composition, which strives to nurture distributed expertise among students in a course), to critique and rewrite racist and discriminatory local histories (see my article on The ReTold Histories of Clemson documentary filmmaking project in XChanges or my article in Convergence on participatory counternarratives), and to connect rhetoric and writing with the possibility of creating social change (see my History of Clemson Podcasting Initiative project). Writing toward equity and toward social justice is a part of everything we do in my First Year Composition courses. I have taught First Year Composition at multiple institutions, and have taught the course in in-person, hybrid, and fully online formats.
Every classroom is an intellectual community. As an instructor of writing, composition, and professional communication, I strive to value student voices, to listen with empathy and care, and to pursue student success as part of everything I do professionally. I regularly teach courses in Technical Writing, Business Writing, and First Year Composition, and in my role as Assistant Director of First Year Composition, I helped to mentor early career graduate students in their teaching of composition. I have taught in in-person, online, and hybrid modes, and have experience teaching at a major research university, at a regional 4-year institution, and at a community college. My philosophy of teaching and pedagogy is epitomized by four key initiatives that I practice in every course that I teach: a commitment to social and collaborative learning, an active appreciation for student diversity and expertise, a firm dedication to learning through practice and through doing, and a commitment to nurturing the creative and critical capacities of 21st century multimodal communicators.
First, I strive to build communities of social and collaborative learning in every course that I teach. Nurturing a practice-based learning community in a composition or professional communication course requires holistic commitment to intentional course design, conscious everyday practice, reflexive adaption and flexibility throughout the course, and active solicitation of student feedback along the way. My courses nurture communities of learning in a few key ways, including through use of the collaborative writing and participation software Slack, through active learning activities, and through incorporating collaboration throughout the arc of a course. In the Slack social media pedagogy that I use in my courses, students participate through writing, sharing, linking, commenting, and connecting each week on their own terms in a shared learning space, a Slack social network. How students participate is up to them, but they do so socially, collaboratively, and cooperatively. In a given week, students might #Share, #Teach, #Crowdsource, or #Respond, but they do so in a participatory fashion that connects collaborative learning with practices of social, digital media. Students comment on each other’s writing, critique each other’s ideas, consider the perspectives of others, and supplement existing knowledge with explication, detail, background, and context. Beyond my social, participatory social media pedagogy, a typical course of mine features active learning activities that my courses practice across in-person and online learning modes. For instance, my composition courses regularly enact breakout groups, design magazine covers and infographics, present “lightning talks,” prepare and deliver “20 Minute Expert Reports,” perform “vernacular primary source” scavenger hunts, and even write articles for The Onion to practice diction and tone. Additionally, in both larger and smaller projects, students in my courses practice collaboration, including in the construction of counternarrative podcasts, in the scripting and production of local history documentary films, in Flipgrid online peer review sessions, in constructing collaborative rubrics, and in “Audience Testing” each other’s writing projects.
Second, my courses actively appreciate student diversity, expertise, experience, and knowledge. In the most explicit sense, my courses connect language and writing to power, racism, misogyny, and marginalization by reading, discussing, and building on works such as Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue,” Chimamanda Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists, and Kwame Appiah’s “Making Conversation,” all of which I teach in First Year Composition. One project that I teach in First Year Composition, what I call the Infosphere Probe, challenges students to locate and analyze evidence for writing projects from non-traditional, non-academic information sources that more comprehensively examine an issue as it is defined by relevant cultures, groups, experts, and popular voices. For instance, a student might examine the issue of Medicare for All through collection, analysis, and explication of a podcast, a television interview, a scholarly journal article, a bumper sticker, and an interview with a family member as part of their Infosphere Probe project. As such, the project challenges a student to account for the cultural, social, political, and personal dimensions of a contemporary issue from a variety of angles, perspectives, and voices. You can read more about the Infosphere Probe project in my article published in Prompt: A Journal of Academic Writing Assignments. In addition, one of the major advantages accompanying the Slack social media pedagogy that my courses practice is that it allows for the nurturing of distributed expertise. In Slack, every student has a voice to participate with, and is the expert of their own experience, their own knowledge, and their own story. Many of the “Modes of Participation” that my classes use as part of our social media pedagogy actively and intentionally make room for storytelling, for experience sharing, for personal narrative, and for use of primary sources as evidence. In other words, using Slack helps to nurture a classroom environment that appreciates difference, positionality, personal knowledge, and cultural insight through cultivating distributed expertise, where no single class stakeholder (including the professor) knows all of the answers, and where everyone has a platform to write, share, and participate with a receptive audience.
Third, my courses are characterized by a conscious, intentional commitment to learning through practice and through doing. For instance, rather than simply have my composition students read and rhetorically analyze local narratives and histories for considerations of race, gender, and power, my students create their own social justice-inclined narratives and build multimodal counternarrative projects, including in podcast, documentary, and GIS audio mapping formats. Additionally, rather than simply analyzing visual rhetoric in popular texts, my composition students construct their own magazine covers and then deconstruct their rhetorical choices in writing as part of our “Magazine Cover Composition and Rhetorical Analysis” project. Similarly, rather than simply lecturing on information value, ethos, and credibility, I challenge my students to enact a “CRAAP Test Scavenger Hunt” in which they assemble resources that pass/fail considerations of credibility, relevancy, authority, accuracy, and purpose as part of an active lesson plan based on social, collaborative learning. I also teach audience and argument by having students write GoFundMe pages, teach rhetorical fallacies and citation by making memes, and teach diction by collaboratively writing intentionally unprofessional emails in class.
Lastly, my pedagogy nurtures creative as well as critical capacities to help students communicate to 21st century audiences with multimodal, digital, collaborative, and public facing discourses. In practice, my First Year Composition students have produced documentary films, YouTube videos, counternarrative podcasts, GIS maps with attached audio files, and “Talking Head”-style argumentative documentary video segments. In my Technical Writing courses, my students blend writing for specific audiences and in unique genres with other hybrid forms of communication. For instance, students blend writing with infographic creation in our “Technical Instructions Document and Infographic Design” project, which challenges students to communicate technical instructions to an amateur and unfamiliar audience, anticipating concerns and problems that will arise while also communicating a process visually in the form of an infographic. Students in my Technical Writing courses also produce a “Social Media as Technical Communication and Social Justice Project” that involves constructing a social media presence that educates the public about a social justice issue, articulates important arguments, and communicates experience and expertise effectively in a digital mode. Additionally, students produce “Content Strategy Plans,” “Statements of Goals and Choices,” and visual “Technical Guide for a Client” projects, all of which blend writing with visual design and multimodal communication. In my Business Writing courses, students practice multimodal, collaborative, and digital communication through projects such as the “Change Needed Interpersonal Email” and the “Personalized Career Communications” project, both of which involve attention to visual rhetoric, document design, communication with images, and incorporation of video resources. In sum, I value social learning, student expertise, and multimodality in my pedagogy, all of which are actively practiced in both projects and activities.
Six years of college level teaching— across multiple institutions, multiple courses, and multiple learning modes— has shown me the value of student relationships, of student-centered teaching, and of approaching teaching as a research endeavor. I look forward to a career teaching writing, composition, and technical and professional communication. My enthusiasm for student success and my dedication to the craft of teaching continues to grow, as I oftentimes find my enthusiasm for learning to be matched and exceeded by students.