I aim to make my teaching creative, memorable, and relevant to all types of learners (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) in traditional, hybrid, and online settings at the collegiate level and in the communities I serve. As professor, I’ve taught at Wheaton College (near Chicago) and Colorado Christian University (near Denver), which are both private, Christian, liberal arts universities, and at Sonoma State University and the University of California, Davis, which are both public teaching and research universities, as well as at the University of California Washington Center in Washington, D.C.. I am currently an associate researcher in the Department of English at UC Davis. In general, I teach in three core areas:
- Creative Writing
- Early British Literature
- Professional Writing
In colleges and universities, I primarily teach early British literature and creative writing in English departments. I love to teach poetry seminars, “The Mythology of J.R.R. Tolkien,” and my signature advanced writing class, “Identity, Memory, History.” I truly enjoy teaching writing to future teachers, business people, and health professionals as well. The quality of my teaching at the collegiate level has been recognized in student evaluations and peer reviews as well as with awards from the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (now the Center for Educational Effectiveness) at the University of California, Davis.
I’ve also taught courses in Comparative Literature, Humanities, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Biblical Studies, Political Science, and Classical Latin and in the Human Needs and Global Resources Program (Wheaton College), the College of Adult and Graduate Studies (Colorado Christian University), and the University Writing Program (UC Davis). I’ve supervised student interns on-site in Washington, D.C. as well as internationally in Moldova, Eastern Europe and Ghana, West Africa. I’ve taught English privately in Taiwan. While studying for my Master’s degree, I served as a substitute teacher, 7th grade English teacher, and ESL instructor for adults in the Vallejo Unified School District in California. I’ve served as the primary advisor to students composing their creative writing theses in poetry, fiction (including speculative fiction – fantasy, science fiction, and historical romance), and creative non-fiction. I’ve also advised improvisational comedy troupes!
I’m invested in the scholarship of collegiate pedagogy. My essay, “On Cultivating a Creative Life,” published in Cantos, reflects (and seeks to inspire reflection) on how to generate creative work — especially poetry, art, and music. My articles on teaching medieval literature appear in This Rough Magic, The Once and Future Classroom, and SMART: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching as well as in my co-edited volume, Approaches to Teaching the Middle English Pearl (MLA, forthcoming May 2017). At the Northern California Writing Across the Curriculum Conference, I recently presented on the role of motivation in the performance of collegiate student writers.
Over the years, I’ve taught thousands of students all across the country, from Washington, D.C. to California, and all across the world, from the U.S. to East Africa. I’ve created curriculum, assessed student learning outcomes, and taught future teachers in diverse fields. As a midwife-educator, I’ve taught babies (who are learning even before they are born!) and their families as well as other health professionals. As a Christian educator in churches, I’ve taught people at all ages and stages of life. I truly love to teach, and at all times, I love to see my students learn, grow, and succeed.