What is your current job title and responsibilities?
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in those areas and research the effects of networked technologies on how we write, think, and learn.
What is your history at UCF? (past job titles, responsibilities)
I came to UCF recently–in the fall of 2011. Before UCF, I was at Michigan State University and a Research Assistant at the Writing in Digital Environments Research Center.
What is your favorite UCF memory?
I loved working with the students in the first honors composition course I taught to organize a stealth social media event to create publicity for one of the monthly Rent-A-Pup events organized by HERO and Pet Rescue by Judy. It was my first chance to see how engaged UCF students are and willing to go beyond what is required of them to support local causes. Plus, those puppies are adorable.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
I think we can learn a lot from students outside the classroom—from how they orient to coursework and approach assignments we give them. Studying the Technology Commons recently, I’ve been blown away by how students on their own time use argument and other interactions to build understanding, team up to teach and learn from one another, and gain long-term knowledge by reflecting on classroom performances that didn’t go as well as they’d hoped.
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
I am from Middle Tennessee, and I would never turn down anything that comes from my grandmother’s kitchen. Homemade biscuits and gravy might top the list.
What is your favorite book or movie or song?
I go through phases. When I was a kid, I devoured the Little House and Anne of Green Gables books. I got hooked on all things Southern Gothic somewhere around high school and early college, and went through my “Westerns” stage while finishing my dissertation.
What is your dream vacation spot?
Anywhere with good food, strong coffee, warm weather, and something new to explore. Whenever I go somewhere new, I stop by a thrift store and look for used cookbooks—the kind that churches and community organizations put together to collect local recipes. My spiral-bound cookbook collection is one of my favorite things and a good way to keep memories of places I’ve been.
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be?
I’d vote for another social, collaborative space where students, staff, and faculty could spend time, interact, read, write, and make things together. Bonus points if the space not only supported connections among those within UCF but also actively invited collaboration with people from the community as well, perhaps through a location off the main campus.
If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF, who would you choose and why?
I have lunch with Dr. Melody Bowdon frequently, and it is a habit that I hope not to break.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
I owe thanks to mentors and colleagues in my department and college, to undergraduate and graduate students who keep me excited and inspired, to all the people who directly and indirectly make my research possible, and to all the people I don’t know yet who keep the university running smoothly!
What undergraduate class/program inspired you the most and why?
I studied language and Latin American culture abroad in Montevideo, Uruguay during the second year of my undergraduate study at Lipscomb University. It was the first place and time that I taught writing and English language, as part of an informal conversational after-school program. Experiencing teaching English while learning Spanish for the first time myself, I was hooked—on teaching, on language, and on learning from others who were also learning from me.