Northern Michigan University (English)
Northern Michigan University (Master's)
Oklahoma State University (PhD)
One of my main goals for teaching is to empower my students. I want them to take ownership of their writing and recognize the power and play of ideas they are presented. The development of critical reading, thinking, and writing is the focus of my teaching. My primary strategy is to help students understand how the craft of writing has the power to convince and persuade. As students become aware of rhetorical constructs, they also begin to understand why communication is at the core of human interaction and interpersonal relationships. In a pragmatic sense, I want my students to become good citizens through empathy and tolerance.
In order to accomplish these goals, I emphasize intellectual curiosity through an examination of texts that reveal diverse points of view. I believe this makes my students better prepared to appreciate a variety of texts outside their individual experiences though an introduction to various cultures, customs, and class struggles. This, I believe, is the value of a liberal arts education—to develop a passion for life-long learning. And to develop a sense of self while recognizing the uniqueness of others.
My students learn that writing is a process. Together we brainstorm, we draft, we revise, and we polish our prose. I teach students to construct an ethos appropriate to a particular audience, while appealing to the audience’s logic and emotion. When I lecture my goal is to invite student inquiry and not merely disseminate information. When I conference with students I avoid being prescriptive; instead, I ask them to give me an example of something they have learned, where they feel they need to improve, and what questions they have for me regarding their writing. I want my students to articulate what it is they are getting from the course, to be active participants in their education, to demonstrate ownership over the material. I believe that success is directly related to imagination, the ability to see one’s self outside of the status quo that allows us to move forward—a text to convince ourselves of the possibilities for whom we will become.
As a professor these last 20 years I have helped a variety of students, traditional and nontraditional alike, and it is the most rewarding experience one can have. Throughout my career, I have helped many students with their essays, stories, and professional writing. Many of them have asked me for letters of recommendation years after our acquaintance, which I have always provided. What's most interesting to me is how rhetoric is at the heart of all writing, whether it's the formal essay, the personal essay, professional, or creative. Understanding the rhetorical properties of writing is like having a large tool box at your disposal from which you can find the necessary tool to do the right job. Anyone can write. But writing well is one of the most difficult challenges a person can attempt. If you need help with composition, creative writing, or understanding how to analyze and write about literature, I would love to help you. Thank you. One of my main goals for teaching is to empower my students. I want them to take ownership of their writing and recognize the power and play of ideas they are presented. The development of critical reading, thinking, and writing is the focus of my teaching. My primary strategy is to help students understand how the craft of writing has the power