Teaching Goals and Improvement

Teaching Interests

English: Composition; developmental writing; service learning; creative writing, including creative nonfiction; literature for children and adolescents; environmental literature.

Sociology: Human relations, introduction to sociology, human behavior in organizations, American social problems and issues, marriage and family, race and ethnicity, community organizing, technology and information use within groups.

Extracurricular: Organize and mentor a community informatics group at STLCC Meramec, in concert with the service learning center and the campus librarians, to give students opportunities to become familiar with emerging technologies, map and leverage their community funds of knowledge, and learn the value of social activism. Through these activities, students compose persuasive narratives that present as strengths those experiences others may see as weakness.

Research Interests

Structuring composition courses to maximize scaffolding for complicated writing projects; effective practices for embedding librarians into research writing courses; flipped classroom design; appropriate expectations for developmental students; service learning and community organizing; inquiry-driven (problem-based) learning; interdisciplinary course design.

Teaching Improvement Activities

Observation of other teachers

Student Feedback

begin quote large[My English 100 students] also explained to me what sort of information they need when I am frontloading the class in preparation for the Cerulli text: things like, why is Cerulli taking so freaking long to talk about a fish or a tree? What’s the point? Who is Willie, and what role will he play later on? I explained that Cerulli looks back on his choices and feels that he was lied to or he lied to himself, and he wants to be extra careful in his choices now so that he can feel good about what he is doing. He realized that his choices have consequences that he never thought about before, so he want to think about them now so that he doesn’t get caught in that trap again. He talks about his father’s friend, Willie, because Willie is a sort of spiritual mentor for Cerulli as Cerulli tries to make sense of the big meanings of his small acts. Daniel said, “That’s the sort of thing I need to know. Now, when I read, I’ll be looking for that stuff, instead of thinking, why in the hell is he going on and on about a fish?” end quote large

“Online Pedagogy Fundamentals,” Professional Development Center, College of Lake County, 2012

  • A 4-week online course comprising an overview of online courses, things to consider when designing an online course, communication in online courses (including a tutorial on the Blackboard discussion board), and best practices for teaching online.

“Ahead of the Class: Critical Thinking,” Professional Development Center, College of Lake County, 2012

  • A 1.5-hour online STARLINK module presenting key concepts and practices for improving student critical thinking. Presenters: Robert Ennis, UIUC; Gerald Nosich, Buffalo State; James Anderson, Fayetteville State University; Craig Nelson, Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year.

“Privilege and Oppression from a Social Justice Framework,” Professional Development Center, College of Lake County, 2012

  • A 1.5-hour course instructing faculty and staff in ways to discover personal bias and correct it in teaching practice and other professional interactions.

“From Our Perspective: Student Panel Discusses Their Disabilities and Academic Life,” Professional Development Center, College of Lake County, 2012

  • A 1-hour panel session staffed by physically, emotionally, and mentally disabled students, discussing problematic patterns of engagement with faculty, staff, and other students and ways of circumventing problems and creating a supportive campus atmosphere.

Graduate Student Writing Across the Curriculum Seminar, Center for Writing Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007

  • A 2-day seminar with sessions on historical views of writing centers and writing to learn, contrasting perspectives on writing as process/writing as literacy, writing with video, sequencing writing assignments, and responding to and evaluating student writing.

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