I am a teacher-scholar of writing studies. My work focuses on digital literacies, the transfer of writing knowledge, and writing program administration.
I serve as Director of First-Year Writing and Assistant Professor of English at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.
My scholarly activities are all motivated by my commitment to understanding and supporting writers and writing instructors as they adapt their prior knowledge to new contexts. My current research consists of a longitudinal study of eight feminist college students’ experiences writing within and across online, academic, and professional contexts. In its fourth ongoing year of data collection, this project responds to prior research that questions why students tend not to transfer their writing knowledge from online contexts into academic contexts.
Through this research, I have found that participants did transfer knowledge across domains in both directions, but only when prompted to do so by an unprecedented rhetorical situation coupled with readily discernible similarities across genres in both domains (e.g., length, rhetorical structure, content/topic). When adapting antecedent academic genre knowledge to online contexts, participants tended to either remediate (in Bolter and Grusin’s sense of the term) their genre knowledge to meet the demands of online situations by infusing it with multimodal elements. In contrast, when leveraging genre knowledge from online contexts to respond to academic writing challenges, they tended to “de”-mediate it, muting or taming some rhetorical elements that may be appropriate online, but not in school. My findings shed light on the transfer of reading knowledge, as well as some conditions that may support the transfer of genre knowledge across domains.
From 2013-2018, I had the privilege of working with student writers at the University of Michigan as an instructor in the English Department Writing Program and as a researcher in the Sweetland Center for Writing. At Michigan, I collaboratively published on the role of writing instructors’ class identities in first-year composition; the experiences of transfer students adjusting to college writing at Michigan; undergraduate STEM writers’ experience writing within and across disciplines; and writing-to-learn assignment design for statistics. After collaborating with my colleagues in Sweetland to collect and analyze data for a longitudinal study of writing development, I authored a chapter about one student’s struggles with and strategies for adapting to college writing for the collection Developing Writers in Higher Education: A Longitudinal Study.
Before arriving at Michigan, I earned my MA in Rhetoric and Writing in the English department at the University of New Mexico. At UNM, I taught and served as TA Mentor in the Core Writing program, and I was also involved with the pilot of the eComp online writing program. With the eComp team, I published collaboratively on professional development for online writing instructors and the affordances of online learning environments for teaching/learning multimodal composition.
I grew up in Seattle, WA, where I played music, made/bought/sold coffee, and earned an AA at North Seattle Community College and two BAs in English and Women Studies at the University of Washington. At UW, I worked as a peer tutor at the English Department Writing Center and Odegaard Research and Writing Center.
When I’m not teaching or researching writing and writing instruction, I am most likely writing music, reading mystery novels, or hanging out with my chihuahua, Biscuit.