I completed my BFA at York University in Theatre (Performing Arts, Honours), my MA at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and my PhD at the University at Albany (State University of New York). Prior to my arrival at the University of Waterloo, I directed the writing centre and taught at Siena College in Loudonville New York (1996-2000); served as an associate professor, director of the writing centre, and finally director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota (2000-2007); and from 2007 - 2013 was an associate professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I took up my post at the University of Waterloo in July 2013.
My primary areas of interest lie in the fields of Rhetoric and Writing Studies. More specifically, however, within that field I am interested in the intersections between critical race, labor, and rhetoric studies, in narrative and performativity, and in critical pedagogy. I also write and publish in the area of writing centre studies. I am a frequent keynote speaker and consultant to colleges and universities across the US on institutional racism and anti-racist organizing. In the profession, I am currently serving as Associate Chair/Program Chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication.
At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, I teach with the aim of challenging students to notice, wonder at, and engage critically the power not only of language itself, but of particular rhetorical modes and strategies for creating, sustaining, and transforming our relations with and for one another. I believe, in other words, that the study of writing and rhetoric is also necessarily the study of how human relations are forged in and through language—shaped, enabled, and constrained through our representations of ourselves, of others, and of that which constitutes knowledge within particular contexts or communities. The study of rhetoric should, I think, engage all of us in the study not only of what is said and how, but also toward what ends and for whose benefit. I hope students leave my courses with an expanded sense of their intellectual and rhetorical antecedents as well as with a much greater sense of their own contingency: their interdependence and the mutuality of their needs and interests across disparate visible and invisible identities and social and lived subjectivities. Furthermore, I hope that students leave my courses with a greatly enlarged sense of their own agency and their responsibility as scholars, rhetoricians and writers—as citizens of the world—to those with whom we share the world as well as those who will come after.
When I am not in my office, the classroom, or a meeting I can most frequently be found in an ice rink somewhere in North America watching a hockey game. Alternatively, you might check the nearest lake for I do love any activity that has to do with water—frozen or not. And, if all else fails, look for me in my garden.