None of the excellent instructors I know can abide sitting still.
Within the Penn State University Department of English, I’ve been gifted with colleagues and leaders who have provided encouragement and opportunities for me to spread my wings. These are the opportunities to which I have said yes. Some are my job; others are just for fun.
Assistant Teaching Professor of English
Since 2001, I have worked as a university writing instructor, teaching a wide variety of writing and rhetoric courses. One of my biggest jobs is to keep my courses current and to incorporate new technologies in a way that benefits students. I create new assignments, incorporate new media and keep a sharp eye on communication applications in the greater world outside of class – not, however, at the expense of essential communication skills that transcend trends and fads.
I have taught a variety of online courses through Penn State World Campus and the English Department as well. In 2017, I received a nomination for the Fillipelli Institute Award For Online Teaching.
Digital Education Specialist
As part of the Penn State Digital English Studio, I build websites, help manage the English Department’s social media assets, promote the studio in conferences, interviews and articles, and support faculty and graduate student endeavors in digital research, pedagogy, and the recent conversion to Canvas LMS.
I give presentations, manage workshops and conduct guest lectures. I work with Canvas, Sites, website design, studio photography and social media marketing.
The Penn State Program in Writing and Rhetoric recently named me course coordinator for English 202D: Business Writing. Part of this job means I’m an instructor of … instructors. I teach and support lecturers and graduate students who are taking their first crack at teaching English 202D: Business Writing at Penn State.
Online Course Author
In summer 2016, I rewrote the English 202D Business Writing online course for World Campus, transitioning it from the old “correspondence” model to the newer, more interactive discussion-based model.
English 202D Credit By Portfolio Developer and Evaluator.
At the request of Dr. Cheryl Glenn and assisted by Jim Ausherman, I developed the requirements for the English 202D by Portfolio Option, in order to provide a portfolio credit option for the rare student who already has extensive, longtime, demonstrable experience in business writing – usually non-traditional, non-resident students. I use these requirements to review and approve course credit for eligible applicants.
Co-Founder and Co-Editor of CPT
The CPT (Celebrating Professional Teaching) celebrates the work of the PWR lecturer faculty, both in and out of the classroom. This is a voluntary activity: Judy McKelvey and I saw a need and stepped in.
Excellence in Communication Adviser and Judge.
For several years I advised and judged undergraduate candidates on their Excellence in Communication Portfolios, formerly a requirement for admittance into the Paterno Fellow program. I also assisted Dr. Jessica O’Hara as she developed English 397A: E-portfolio Writing and Design.
Teaching With Technology Certified
In 2014, I joined other instructors and graduate students who have earned the Penn State Teaching with Technology Certificate. See my portfolio.
Above all, I hope to continue work with Penn State undergrads. For many years I have seen what these students can do. I’ve seen how they learn and grow. I have great admiration for their spirit, their drive and their intelligence. I consider myself fortunate to be assist them with skills they will need as they leave this place.
One thing I’ve learned, though, is that true excellence in teaching is a moving target, requiring diligent and ruthless evaluation of my own practices, motivations and subject matter mastery. It’s an ongoing journey that wouldn’t be possible without the constant feedback my Penn State students, peers and administrators.