I received my Bachelor's degree at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky majoring in Middle School Education with an emphasis in English and Spanish; therefore, I extensively studied both reading and writing (in two languages) as a part of my undergraduate education. I taught in the public school system in three different states (Missouri, Illinois and Texas) for seven years. My public school experience is widely varied. I taught mixed-level elementary ESL (English as a Second Language, ESL at the secondary level, Spanish, and English Language Arts and Reading.
I received my Master’s Degree in English: Composition and Communication from Central Michigan University. While I was a student at CMU I worked as a tutor in the writing center and taught freshman writing classes. I have also taught reading and writing classes at Saginaw Valley State University, Mid-Michigan Community College, Grand Rapids Community College, and Baker College Online. In total, I have 20 years of teaching experience (thirteen of those in higher education).
I am an accomplished writer. My Master's thesis was a work in creative nonfiction as well as an academic study of critical literacy. In short, my teaching philosophy is that students need not only to be literate citizens, but they need to master a critical literacy that helps them to "read the world" (Freire) That is why my classes are structured to incorporate lessons that will engage students in actively analyzing texts through questioning as well as reflecting on how the text has changed the reader to consider a different perspective.
I have become actively involved in storytelling and public speaking. I have often attended Homewood Stories(TM) performances at the Ravisloe Country Club in Homewood. I trained for storytelling by attending workshops on effective storytelling in January and Feburary. I told my first public story at Ravisloe Country Club in February of this year (2018). I have also produced children’s performances and led congregational talks at Unitarian Universalist Community Church in Park Forest.