Office: Chemung 214
Education and Certification
Bowling Green State University, Fine Arts in Poetry Writing, M.F.A.
Pennsylvania State University, English, B.A.
I like to say that I work at an A-ha Factory. My purpose and focus is always on the
student, on sparking his/her/their discoveries. My great reward as a teacher is when
someone says, "Oh, now I get it!" These insights mean that a student has grown intellectually,
and the fact they can see it means they are growing in confidence, too. And that means,
this student is now ready for the next challenge.
The feedback from students who like the way I teach say I care about them as people, that I really want them to succeed, that I try to answer their questions, that I give lots of feedback, and that I'm very passionate about teaching and about English. This list reflects my main commitments as a teacher, and I'm pleased that this feedback comes from students in face-to-face, remote, or online classes.
As I said, my goal is to push students beyond what they can do when they start the class, but I also strive to provide how-to steps and encouragement to achieve greater and greater things. I use partners and groups so students practice evaluating and improving work by giving feedback; plus, social interaction and teamwork are skills employers are looking for. Students often comment that my classes are energetic and sometimes fun, and some even think my jokes are funny.
In comp courses, I give students an assignment sheet which lays out all the requirements, but I also provide them with a student model so they can see what a successful completion of those requirements looks like. I also give step-by-step process activities that allow students to build up their ideas and essays, get feedback, and improve it. These are designed to isolate the decisions writers make at each stage and to practice one way of making them.
College Composition I and II, Applied Reading and Writing Strategies, Public Speaking, Creative Writing: Poetry, American Literature, Modern Poetry
Publications / Presentations / Professional Projects
I not only teach writing and literature, I understand the process (the frustrations and the successes) from the inside. I've published 11 collections of my own poetry, co-authored a textbook for creative writing classes and writers' groups, and a book of essays about my own development as a writer and the work of poets I admire. Visit my website if you want more information about this aspect of my work.