As a teacher, I am the product of my training at the University of Houston, an urban, international university in one of the nation’s largest and most diverse cities, and the University of Delaware, a smaller east-coast school with a liberal-arts style environment. At both institutions, I gained valuable experience that permits me to meet the needs of students from a broad range of academic and cultural backgrounds. I have continued to develop my skills in helping students hone their skills in reading, writing, and critical thinking while teaching at Shenandoah University, George Mason, and currently Arizona State.
I enjoy thinking through the processes of how my courses can best help students achieve their goals, and strive to design innovative, interdisciplinary courses and lessons. For example, at the University of Delaware I designed and taught an honors-level writing course that defamiliarized race for students through readings that sequenced Victorian-era science fiction novels like The Island of Dr. Moreau followed by twentieth-century American novels like To Kill a Mockingbird. In my American literature courses students have analyzed portraits of Frederick Douglass alongside his writings to study how writers and artists use image and text to construct racial sensibilities among their readership. In order to achieve focused class goals, I have used DEVO’s music video cover of the Rolling Stone’s “Satisfaction” to teach postmodern transatlantic poetry, and the visual landscapes of contemporary photographer Travis Roozee’s online exhibition “Centralia” to teach thick descriptive writing. An article that outlines my methods for teaching race through defamiliarization will appear in the January 2016 issue of Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Language, Literature, Composition, and Culture.
I bring energy and excitement to my teaching through combinations of dynamic lectures, systematic class discussions, and directed group work that engage and assist students in achieving course goals. My literature courses employ writing to enhance student skills in reading and analysis. In my process-oriented writing courses students to read classic and contemporary writing to sharpen their skills in thinking critically and writing arguments. Outside of the classroom, my students meet with me frequently for one-to-one support. Students often remark how much they look forward to coming to class. Recent student evaluations indicate that my teaching methods are highly successful, and that my courses have helped students feel empowered in their thinking, writing, and reading effectiveness inside and outside of the classroom.
I am currently teaching three sections of English Composition at Shenandoah University.
A list of courses that I have taught at different institutions, as well as a brief description of each, is provided below.
Arizona State University (2016)
ENGL 101: First-Year Composition I. "Twenty-First Century Sovereignty in America" (2 Sections)
In this introduction to college-level writing, students develop their skills in reading, writing, and critical thinking by engaging in current issues of race and sovereignty in America. Students focus their inquiry through the studying visual and textual representations of Native Americans in contests for sovereignty in the United States, such as the conflict between the Standing Rock Sioux and the Dakota Access Pipeline. Students complete four major projects, including a researched argument and a multimodal essay executed in a digital format format.
George Mason University (2016) E302M: Advanced Composition (Multidisciplinary) (2 Sections)
This writing course for juniors and seniors helps students become advanced problem-oriented researchers and writers in their individual academic disciplines. Students write a synthesis/response paper on a contentious issue in America such as black reparations, a disciplinary analysis essay, and an argument-driven research essay that takes a stance on a controversial topic specific to their discipline.
Shenandoah University (2015) ENGL 101: English Composition. "Race, Terror, and Writing in the 21st Century.” (3 Sections)
This first-year writing course engages students with issues of race and politics in American society through reading, writing, and critical thinking. Students study forms and styles of writing by analyzing articles on contemporary events such as the 2015 Baltimore protests and the rise of ISIS, and then compose reasoned responses through a series of structured essays. Students write three major essays and complete a multimodal project.
University of Delaware (2010-2015)
ENGL 204: American Literature (1 Section)
This course surveys American literature from the colonial period to the twentieth century. Students explore how the radicalism of the “American” experience – contact and conquest, slavery, revolutions, and “American century” attitudes – resulted in distinctive literary forms and shaped American identities. Lectures, discussion, writing assignments, and exams investigate genres like poems, novels, essays, as well as maps and paintings.
ENGL 110H: From Taliban to Timbuktu: Politics, Romance, and "The Middle East" (1 Section) In this writing-centered course students explore how literature and news reports about "the Middle East" have shaped our perception of Arab countries and culture. Students examine Said’s Covering Islam and analyze media coverage of U.S. conflicts in the Middle East as well as contemporary novels. Students sharpen their writing ability through short writing assignments, three short essays, and a research paper that examines major course themes.
ENGL 110H: The Monstrous and the Human (1 Section)
In this honors-level writing course students study how genre conventions first developed to describe monstrous evil in nineteenth-century novels like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or Frankenstein reappear as formations of racial difference in twentieth-century American novels like To Kill a Mockingbird. Students conduct this inquiry through a combination of in-class discussion, group work, and writing assignments.
ENGL 110: English Composition (7 Sections)
This first-year composition course teaches interconnected skills of writing, reading, and critical thinking. Students complete short writing assignments and four longer papers designed to enhance skills such as clarity and coherence. The course culminates with a research paper that requires students to write logical arguments informed by careful use of academic sources, and ends with a writing assignment that teaches visual literacy.
University of Houston (2008-2010)
ENGL 1303: English Composition I (1 Section)
This introductory writing course taught students writing skills by focusing on use of rhetorical techniques and genre. Students practiced summarizing, synthesizing, and responding to arguments.
ENGL 1304: English Composition II (6 Sections)
In this intermediate writing course, students crafted major types of logical arguments. The course challenged students to support arguments with claims and reasons informed through academic research. Students wrote four major papers, and short writing assignments.