Philosophy

Communicating in the sciences is my forte as a teacher and scholar of rhetoric and composition,  having been raised in a family of engineers, doctors and writers. My teaching philosophy is centered through multimodal composition and disability studies, with a foundation in writing center pedagogy.

Background. As an undergraduate student I always preferred to work closely with other students and teachers as a facilitator. As a graduate student, interests expanded to the digital humanities and later, disability studies. Classroom technology is especially important when considering how today’s students are digitally innovative yet often lack the written, oral, visual, and electronic, and nonverbal communication skills necessary for the workplace. Social activist manifestos, pecha kuchas, and multimodal business proposals are just a few of the ways that I have used technology to promote collaborative self-awareness.

Guest Speakers. I believe classroom visitors contribute to a varied learning environment, so guest speakers are invited to my classes. Informal mid-semester reviews (collected anonymously) have revealed positive feedback about these visits. Other invited guests have included classroom researchers, information literacy librarians, and a senator from Cedar Rapids, IA.

Accountability and Class Management. My student evaluations speak highly of teamwork opportunities. Conferences are held in conjunction with strict deadlines in order to monitor team progress. As part of an in-class Business Communication on lesson on claims, adjustments and refusals, students share evaluative follow-up letters with pre-assigned teams. To encourage kinesthetic creativity and online interaction, an in-class Technical Communication activity on usability is taught using Legos, paper airplanes and online surveys.

While my teaching style, composed of short lectures and group/individual “activity breaks,” has remained steadfast, I have worked on clarifying assignment objectives. After having participated in several teaching practicum, I have learned to utilize instructional technologies (including videos, forums and wikis) to efficiently plan online activities. Moodle folders with lecture notes and assignment handouts are maintained for advance planning purposes. Every class began with an advance organizer on the overhead. A maximum of three activities keeps classes on track.

Service, Outreach, and Administration. My instructional approach is based in practical application. I have participated in several professional development activities, including a National Science Foundation (NSF) workshop at Iowa State University and diversity and leadership certification at the University of Arizona (UA). I am a Quality Matters certified peer reviewer. As faculty advisor for Difference and Inequality, a writing instructor-led organization for the Department of English at UA, I facilitate brown bags, discussions, and even co-authored an inclusivity statement in writing program policies. As Assistant Director of Learning of Online Writing and Accessibility, I facilitate online learning initiatives and conduct trainings for new and returning faculty.