I am excited to join the Writing Program at UCSC! Everything I do is about writing and writers, no matter the course or topic. I’ll be adding more about my current program as I learn more about it. For now, some background…
From 2006-2014, I directed the CU Denver Composition Program. My time as a Writing Program Administrator (WPA) profoundly shaped my teaching and how I imagine, and interact with, higher education. I’m currently interested in how a writing program can construe its goals within university contexts (preparing students to write in their other college courses) and beyond graduation (as our writing courses may be the only ones some students ever take). I’m also interested in what it means for composition to be a course that students must complete to graduate from most colleges and universities, given that many disabled students struggle with reading and writing.
I regard my writing program work as “macrolevel teaching,” as explained by Richard Gebhardt in “Administration as Focus for Understanding the Teaching of Writing.” He notes that “macrolevel teaching” means selecting books for a program (rather than a single class), working with new graduate teaching assistants on their pedagogies and curricula (rather than planning and troubleshooting for my own class), and imagining how a new trend in teaching or writing might impact a series of classes and teachers (rather than a single course). At the same time, a WPA must have her finger on the pulse of writing politics on campus and beyond. A writing program administrator must be internally connected to instructors, students and program colleagues while sustaining external connections with faculty, university decision-makers, and larger disciplinary and political players. While writing programs and classrooms are often students’ first academic communities – both for undergraduate students and graduate instructors – such programs also serve the larger intellectual and pedagogical aims of a department and thrive when writing program administration is considered to be part of the critical work of the university. Part of this work is a keen awareness of the working conditions of those who teach writing.
(For more details, see my teaching & writing program portfolio.)