What is your current job title and responsibilities?
I’m currently an Associate Instructor in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric in the College of Arts and Humanities. I’m also the Department Scheduler for all faculty and graduate students who teach, which is approximately 65 faculty.
What is your history at UCF and before UCF?
Before UCF, I owned a small landscaping business. I started teaching first year composition in 1998 at UCF as a graduate student, then accepted a Visiting Instructor appointment. In 2004, I was offered an instructor position. Along with teaching, I served seven years as a Composition Coordinator in the First Year Writing program, which included training graduate students who were teaching for the first time in the class room. I have also served as an Academic Advisor to students minoring and majoring in Writing and Rhetoric, and I have worked as a Coordinator in the Writing Center. For the past five years, I have been the department scheduler.
What is your academic background?
I have a M.A. in English with a specialty in Creative Writing.
What is your favorite UCF memory?
About twelve years ago, faculty would select a common reader for all first year writing students to read, and we would bring the author to campus. We did this for about five years. One of those speakers was Khaled Housseini, who wrote the Kite Runner. His book was still fairly new at the time. He spoke in several small sections of Composition as well as one large gathering in the evening in the Student Ballroom for all UCF students to attend. My favorite memory is his reaction to seeing two students sitting on the ground outside the Barnes and Noble bookstore reading his book. He was overwhelmed and humbled to actually witness students reading his novel. I had to remind him that in our world, he was a rock star. Every writer we brought to campus impacted our students in some way, but students talked about Housseini and his novel for quite some time afterwards.
If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be?
I’d have a large student lounge built, one very large room with couches and comfortable chairs and TV’s for students. There are several places in the student union for students to study and lounge in small groups, but not one large room for gathering between classes.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
Every semester evaluate what worked and didn’t work in all your classes. It is easy to become complacent, especially with classes we have taught over and over.
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
I’m an avid gardener, so I’d choose a garden or a bench in a garden.
If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
Well, nothing like aiming for the top. I would like to have lunch with President Hitt, because his vision for a writing program with a national reputation allowed our Department of Writing and Rhetoric to be created.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
Elizabeth Wardle, who served as our department Chair, and is now working at Miami Oxford in Ohio.
Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
Mr. Burkhart, my eighth grade social studies teacher, who pushed me to excel beyond the “B.”
What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
Nothing significant comes to mind.
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
Favorite food is fried shrimp. Always has been. And some of the best in town is at Boston’s Fish House off of Aloma.
What is your favorite movie, book or music?
Favorite movie is Out of Africa. Favorite book The Great Gatsby.
What is your favorite vacation destination?
The North Carolina mountains, especially the stretch between Tryon and Hendersonville.