Ever since my first
experience as a TA in graduate school, I have enjoyed teaching. I find that
it’s the most rewarding part of my job as a professor and an academic. It’s a
big reason why I’m happy to be working here at Governors State University,
where teaching is at the center of the institutional mission. As a writing
teacher, I often find that a lot of students—particularly early in their
college careers—dislike writing because they had a bad experience with the
subject in high school or because they don’t think of themselves as writers. It’s
a joy for me to work with these students, especially when I hear that, by the
end of the semester, they have not only learned something new about writing but
have begun to enjoy some of the experiences and challenges associated with
writing complex texts. In every writing class I teach, while working on the
course’s particular goals, I try to instill this basic experience of making
I began my academic
career by earning a bachelor’s degree in English from Northern Illinois
University in 2000, followed by a master’s degree in 2003 from Illinois State
University and a Ph.D. in English Studies, specializing in Rhetoric and
Composition, in 2010 also from ISU. For my dissertation I conducted a study of
the conceptual metaphors that students and teachers used to think and talk
about writing. Conceptual metaphors are metaphors that form our basic mental
models and understandings of complex topics. I found that students and teachers
used different conceptual metaphors for thinking about writing and the act of
learning to write. As a result, they expected very different things to happen
as part of the everyday activities of a writing classroom. For writing teachers
to be successful, I concluded, they must employ conceptual metaphors in
consistent and strategic ways, in order to produce the desired educational
experience for students. In recent years, I have continued to concentrate my
scholarship on the role that conceptual metaphors play in thinking about
learning to write and the act of writing. This scholarship has resulted in a
number of publications and presentations in local and national venues. In
addition to teaching at ISU, I have taught a wide variety of writing courses at
Lincoln College-Normal, Central Washington University, Wenatchee Valley
College, and most recently at Columbia College Chicago. I began teaching at GSU
in the fall of 2013.
I enjoy community
service projects that encourage learning and that help foster people’s natural
curiosity. These kinds of projects are best exemplified by one of my favorite
community service projects, which I was involved with while working at
Wenatchee Valley College in Wenatchee, Wash. The project, called “I’m Going to
College,” was designed to interest young, lower-income students in attending
college. For the project, I ran a mock college writing class for grade school
students, introducing them to the kind of writing that college students are
asked to do. At the same time, I worked to get these students interested in
attending college later in their lives. In this project, as I attempt to do
with every writing class, I worked to make writing a fun experience, one that
the students would enjoy so that they would continue to work at honing their
writing skill all of their lives.
“A Study of the Journey Metaphor’s
Entailments for Framing Learning” JAEPL (2014).
“On Reality and
Virtuality: A Study of Time-Spaces in Plowing
the Dark.” Mosaic: A Journal for the
Interdisciplinary Study of Literature. 42.3 (2009): 95-108. Print.
Transit.” College Composition and
Communication. Vignette. (2014). Forthcoming.
Rev. of CCCC Session D.13 “Composing Place and Self: Travel
as Metaphor and Motive for Writing.” Kairos:
A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. 17. (2012) Web.
Rev. of Metaphor and
Writing: Figurative Thought in the Discourse of Written Communication, by
Philip Eubanks. Composition Studies.
39.2 (2011): 154-157. Print.
“Retelling the Vietnam War: The Role of Realism, and the ‘Realistic,’
in Constructing Narrative in We Were
Soldiers.” Pimps, Wimps, Studs, Thugs
and Gentlemen:Essays on Media Images
of Masculinity. Ed. Elwood Watson. Jefferson: McFarland & Co.
Publishers, 2009. 180-195. Print. ISBN: 978-0-7864-4305-5.
Smith, Bradley, et al., eds. First-Year Writing Anthology. Columbia
College. n.d. Web. 28 August 2012.
Cuti, Linsey and Bradley Smith, eds. The
Redbird Reader: A Collection of Student Writing from Language and Composition,
3rd edition, ISU Freshman Anthology, fall 2004-summer 2005. Stipes Publishing.
Print. ISBN: 1-58874-403-5.
and Molly Ades. “Understanding the Inquiry and Ethnography Methods for Teaching
Writing and Rhetoric II.” Writing Program
Fall Plenary. Columbia College. Columbia College, Chicago. 26 August 2011
Puzzles and Flowers . . . oh my!: Using Conceptual Metaphor to Enhance
Classroom Communication.” Teaching and
Learning Center Professional Development Series. Kishwaukee College.
Kishwaukee College, Malta. 1 October 2010.
Instructional Value of Wiki Pages.” Nuts
& Bolts of E-Learning Technology. Wenatchee Valley College. Wenatchee
Valley College, Wenatchee. 16 May 2008.
and Valerie Perry Rendel. “On the Fringes of Rhetorical Scholarship.” 49th Annual Allerton English Articulation
Conference. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Allerton Park and
Retreat Center, Monticello. 17 April 2013.
Basics: A Study of Developmental Writing Course Sequences.” Great Lakes Region College Reading and
Learning Association Conference. Columbia College, Chicago. 13 October
the First-year Writing Classroom: A Rhetorical and Cognitive Linguistic Study.”
Research Network Forum, Conference on
College Composition and Communication. America Center, St. Louis. 21 March
and Sarah Meltzer. “Selecting and Reflecting: What Editing a First-Year Writing
Anthology Showed Us About Our Teaching.” Reflection
and Renewal: 47th Annual Allerton English Articulation Conference.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Allerton Park and Retreat Center,
Monticello. 20 April 2011.
et al. “The First-Year Writing Anthology and its Pedagogical Implications.” The Integrated First-Year Experience
Conference. Columbia College. Columbia College, Chicago. 18 January 2011.
“Troubleshooting your Way through a
Conversation about Writing.” Evolving
Literacies: 45th Annual Allerton English Articulation Conference.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Allerton Park and Retreat Center,
Monticello. 13 April 2009.
Community around Difference: Dialogue about Learning and Knowledge in the
College Classroom.” Conference on College
Composition and Communication. Palmer House, Chicago. 22 March 2006.
Experience…: Peer Interaction and the First-Year Experience” English Studies Symposium at Ewing Manor
2005: Emerging Practices: Rhetoric, Critical Inquiry, and the First-Year
Experience. Illinois State University. Ewing Manor, Normal. 1 April 2005.
“Mel Gibson Versus the World: Realism, the
Realistic and We Were Soldiers . . .”
Midwestern Conference on Literature,
Language, and Media. Northern Illinois University. Northern Illinois
University, DeKalb. 2 April 2004.
Together: Creating Polyglossia and Undermining Ideology in Fight Club.” Midwestern
Conference on Literature, Language, and Media. Northern Illinois
University. Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. 29 March 2003.
“‘T’were a Tard in t’Loo’: Returning Meaning to
Laughter in Infinite Jest.” Thirty-First Annual 20th Century
Literature Conference. University of Louisville. University of Louisville,
Louisville. 28 February 2003. “Publish or Perish: Getting Students Beyond the
Teacher-as-Reader through Magazine Writing.” English Studies Symposium at Ewing Manor 2002: From Learning to
Teaching (And Back Again). Illinois State University. Ewing Manor, Normal.
5 April 2002.