Thanks for stopping by my homepage! I'm currently the Graduate Administrator of the nationally recognized Michigan Tech Multiliteracies Center (formerly Writing Center) as well as a Graduate Teaching Instructor in the Humanities Department at Michigan Technological University where I teach courses in composition and ESL. In addition, I also co-teach our weekly coach education course in the Multiliteracies Center. I'm enrolled in the doctoral program in Rhetoric and Technical Communication where my research is focused on literacy and writing center studies.
In addition to my work at Michigan Tech, I also hold a Master's degree in literature and pedagogy from Northern Michigan University (2010) as well as a Bachelor's in secondary education and English (2004). My anticipated date of completion for my PhD is 2014.
My initial “calling” led me to the Navajo Nation in Gallup, New Mexico where I taught 8th and 9th grade English to students whose primary language was Navajo. This experience led me back to Michigan's “U.P.,” — the place where I grew up and continue to love — to teach high school English at a small school at the base of the Keweenaw Peninsula in the town of Lake Linden. At Lake Linden-Hubbell High School, I was able to wear many hats in our English department of three teachers. In addition to teaching, I also coached the High School Bowl and local history competition teams, started an Intro to Film directed study, and also formed and sponsored the Great Books Discussion Group.
My experiences in the public schools provided the impetus to further my studies at the graduate level. Mainly, I wanted to learn more about literacy, identity, and the ways in which my students were negotiating their identities and memberships in the public school classroom. I was also interested in the ways students' primary discourses could be reconciled within the system of the “public school” and what could be done for those students if their discourses could not be reconciled (which I found, for many, was often the case). I also found these difficulties in reconciliation occurring in the college composition classroom I taught in at Northern Michigan University and among the students I taught at the ITT Technical Institute in Detroit the summer before I started my PhD program. No matter what kind of classroom I was in, I found myself asking similar questions: What can be done for students who aren't privileged by the system they are working in? How does a white male teach marginalized groups in ways that will ensure “success?” What does “success” even mean, and for whom? How do institutions work to reproduce their “own” while also reproducing those who are marginalized? How do we prepare all students for a globalizing world?
My current work focuses on these questions and extends them into the context of the college composition classroom and the university writing center. Ideally, I would like to work as a writing center administrator, a writing program administrator, or a teacher educator. Working with tutors and future teachers who wish to tackle these same questions was my original reason for going to graduate school and I look forward to being able to continue this work on into the future.