I am excited to be a part of the progressive rhetoric and writing program at UTEP.
After teaching business writing, technical communication, legal rhetoric, literature, and composition courses for nearly a decade, I have becoming comfortable emphasizing collaborative, critical thinking over prescriptive, rote genre application in writing. My goals are to teach adaptable and transferable communication skills that foster communication efficacy under changing rhetorical situations. My goal is to grow pedagogical strategies for course and assignment development that promotes student understanding of rhetoric as a valuable resource in all aspects of their lives. As a result, I have come to enjoy seeing students develop a critical understanding of how rhetoric, research, and the knowledge of discourse communities apply beyond the classroom.
Although I have taught for several years, I have always had multiple interests, which influence my approach to research and writing instruction. I studied biology and physics. I am a professionally trained chef and former brewer, and I have worked in the entertainment industry for nearly twenty years, both as a writer and technician. I have worked for several well known international organizations, including ABC, Disney, and the Environmental Protection Agency. What I noticed along the way is that the people and places always have stories to tell, and each is told in a different way. My interest in rhetoric stems from a curiosity in how we each glean and impart meaning, how stories inform our lives, how each of us comes to know the world. As a researcher, I have a keen interest in what stories do rhetorically, studying the reflexive connections between rhetorical choices, agency, and social conditions. My interdisciplinary research is deeply connected to this observation and incorporates – narratology, multimodality, identity studies, regressive philosophy, theories on agency, and intercultural communication. I believe that cross-disciplinary research is integral to continued, innovative research, but also pedagogical development that considers how changing modalities, technologies, and socio-cultural conditions contribute to communication.
When I have a free moment, I restore old cars, travel as to places I’ve never been, and help with regional community theater.