I’m a creative writer specializing in poetry, but I have taught many types of writing including composition and technical writing. In my classes, I encourage students to welcome form yet work creatively within its constraints—bending the rules, trying out new ways of approaching a subject. I often hear students say that they don’t like to write unless they are writing on a topic they know well and enjoy. Same here. I hope to help them discover that kernel of interest, that place of personal relevance—and from that investment develop meaningful connections to the larger world. Working with Governors State students has been a rich experience because they bring so much experience and enthusiasm to the classroom and to the page.
My path to academia started at Miami of Ohio where I majored in Creative Writing, Literature, and Spanish. Being a writer requires life experience, so after I graduated I worked as a live-in caretaker at a cat and dog shelter, a social worker in a hospital, and then as an editor and copywriter at two different universities. I earned a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from the Pennsylvania State University in 2006. I started teaching for Governors State in 2010.
In addition to working with our Honors Program, I have been working with the Southern Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium on a pilot project of regional assessment, meeting with other writing teachers in our area to align our standards and curriculum so that when students move from one college to another, they encounter familiar expectations in an encouraging environment that will help them to flourish as writers and scholars.