I am currently a full professor and the chair of the English Department at the University of La Verne (near Los Angeles) in southern California, where I teach:
- an introductory course to the English major, “Foundations of Linguistics” (historical, social, applied)
- survey courses that fulfill core requirements in the major, “English Literature I: Medieval, Renaissance, and Restoration” and “English Literature II: Romantic, Victorian, and Modern”
- author courses like “Marie de France” and “Mythology of J.R.R. Tolkien”
- upper-division elective courses in the major, such as “Literature of the Bible,” “Fairy Tales,” and “Magical Realism”
- and professionalization courses like “Internship for English Majors” as well as the required final course in the major, “Senior Capstone.”
I offer lively lit-and-film courses, including “Shakespeare in Film,” a seminar in the university’s FLEX (first-year learning community) cohort general education program, and “Science Fiction Literature and Film,” now being offered as an online summer course through our ULV Online program.
Prior to joining the faculty at the University of La Verne, I taught at Wheaton College (near Chicago), Colorado Christian University (near Denver), and the University of California, Davis (which is between San Francisco and Sacramento). I also taught at the UC Washington Center in Washington, D.C. and at Epic Bible College and Graduate School in Sacramento, California. So I’ve taught in private, Christian, liberal arts colleges, at public teaching and research universities, and at a Bible College.
I’ve taught more than fifty unique courses at the college level, primarily in literature, creative writing, and professional writing. I’ve also taught courses in Biblical Studies, Comparative Literature, Humanities, Latin, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, 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 and Center for Educational Effectiveness (UC Davis). I’ve supervised undergraduate student interns on-site in Washington, D.C. as well as internationally in Moldova, Eastern Europe and Ghana, West Africa. 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. As a mentor-teacher, I write essays on effective teaching, which have appeared in This Rough Magic, The Once and Future Classroom, and SMART: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching. My co-edited book, Approaches to Teaching the Middle English Pearl (MLA, 2017), is devoted to different ways to teach a challenging, Middle English dream vision poem. At a recent meeting of the Northern California Writing Across the Curriculum Conference, I presented on the role of motivation in the performance of collegiate student writers. 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.
I’ve also taught in the communities where I live. 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. While studying for my doctorate, I had a private tutoring business for K-12 students in Davis. In the summer after I completed my PhD, I taught English conversation and reading skills privately in Taiwan. While living in Wheaton, I trained as a childbirth educator with BirthWorks International, and I offered childbirth education classes for groups and individual families for seven years. I served as a guest teacher in the Davis School District in spring 2017, which was a rewarding experience.
As an educator, 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. I seek to appeal to all types of learners using visual, auditory, and kinesthetic approaches. I care deeply about people and their holistic learning. 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.