Latest News: Just learned that Performing Urgency: Slamming and Spitting as Critical and Creative Response to State Crisis was selected for the 2016 Kairos Best Webtext Award to be presented at the Computers and Writing Conference.
Welcome, and thank you for visiting my website. I am an Assistant Professor of English at Fort Hays State University. At Fort Hays, I teach writing and co-advise the Gay-Straight Alliance. Next year I look forward to directing the Writing Center.
I received my PhD in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English at the University of Arizona, by way of a Midwest farm and education, with a four-year stopover in the Middle East. I earned a B.A. in English from Millikin University, an M.A. in English from Iowa State University, and an M.F.A. with an emphasis in creative nonfiction from the University of Minnesota. For four years, I taught at the American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt, where I had the opportunity to collaborate in the emergence of the first department of rhetoric and composition in the Middle East. Through working to develop a rhetoric and writing minor, chairing the departmental grants committee, and teaching a variety of first-year and upper-division courses, I began to understand the potentialities for the study of rhetoric and composition and decided to pursue a PhD.
In Arizona, I was fortunate to meet Adela C. Licona and Stephen T. Russell, who invited me to become a Crossroads Scholar in an action-oriented research collective supported by the Ford Foundation called The Crossroads Collaborative, which works with local youth and youth-serving organizations to support youth rights and access to knowledge(s) about their sexuality, health, and rights. Through this research collective, I became involved with the Tucson Youth Poetry Slam (TYPS), a vibrant space where young people spit about personal, compelling issues to a committed crowd. Many of these poets performed about what it means to be a young person in the context of regressive legislation in Arizona, such as SB 1070, HB 2281, and SB 1309, that directly affects access to certain types of knowledge(s) and rights.
This work led me to my research interests, which involve questions about the collaborative nature of persuasive writing as well as how identification work plays a role in how students and others learn and practice writing. Through this work, I am developing a theory of identification called critical latticework.
I am also a published writer across many genres. My scholarship has ben published in interdisciplinary journals, and my creative writing has been published in journals such as Indiana Review, which nominated me for a Pushcart Prize.
Further, my experiences in writing centers (e.g., the University of Minnesota's Center for Writing and the Writing Center at Santa Barbara Community College), in addition to my two-year graduate assistantship with the Writing Center at the University of Arizona, have given me opportunities to interact with the diverse experiences, approaches, and identifications of undergraduate and graduate students.
My research, teaching, and writing interests contribute to my flexibility and capability to collaborate within and across my department home and university community, across disciplines, and within communities that identify in ways not always in keeping with academia.
I invite you to peruse my site, which includes my curriculum vitae, a description of my book project, my teaching philosophy, student testimonials, and selected academic and creative publications. Please contact me if you have any questions.