About me

Since 1996, I have been teaching English at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington,  where I also served as the Writing Program Administrator (WPA) and coordinator of Writing across the Curricuum (WAC) for . . . quite some time. I teach first-year writing and technical writing mostly, but I have taught a variety of literature courses as well as introductory philosophy and creative writing.

As WPA, I worked with Whatcom’s English faculty to create a dynamic and cohesive writing program that is responsive to the needs of our highly diverse student body and the changing environment. That means we strive to make our first-year writing course and our second-year composition courses open and accessible–through our Informed Self-Placement process, initially, and a responsive curriculum–to all students coming to Whatcom, from traditional-aged and Running Start students, to International Program students, and from those moving through developmental and basic education courses.

My research has supported those efforts, focusing on program development and social justice, in particular how programs can be developed inclusively to serve both the the majority of two-year college students, among whom are large numbers of systemically non-dominant students, and the majority of college faculty, who teach off the tenure track. I’ve published numerous articles in Teaching English in the Two-Year College, including two articles slated for the May 2023 50-year anniversary of the journal, as well as a feature article in the 2018 special issue on academic freedom titled “The Two-Year College Writing Program and Academic Freedom: Labor, Scholarship, and Compassion.”

I have chapters in a number of edited anthologies, including Understanding WPA Readiness and Renewal (Parlor Press 2022), Writing Placement in Two-Year Colleges (WAC Clearinghouse 2022), Sixteen Teachers Teaching: Two-Year College Perspectives (University Press Colorado 2020),  Contingency, Exploitation, and Solidarity: Labor and Action in English Composition (co-authored with Amanda Hoppe and Desiree Holter, 2017) and A Critical Look at Institutional Mission: A Guide for Writing Program Administrators, (2016).

I’ve also co-authored two TYCA White Papers, on placement reform and on developmental education reform and two working papers (#1 and #8) as well as the quantitative report “The Profession of Teaching English in the Two-Year College. I am currently with other members of the task force on a comprehensive white paper.

My composition textbook, Active Voices: The Language of College and Composition, from Fountainhead Press, was published in spring 2019 and seeks to demystify the the college experience for first-writing students by providing concise explanations of the most important topics, such as “What the academy is” and “What counts as evidence.” The preface and the introduction for students, as well as four new chapters that support anti-racist pedagogy, is available at Fountainhead’s site. A new textbook, Composing a College Career, a first-year experience text, will be available soon.

I’ve worked over the past decade to promote social-justice pedagogies for all first-year writing courses in Washington, which serve over 50,000 students per year, through “(de)Composting ENGL&101,” a statewide group which I co-founded and was adopted and shepherded by Jen Whetham of the State Board for five years, then through the Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies group that it spawned for two more years. Recently, I’ve been coordinating more informal quarterly statewide professional development meetings, called “ReComposing ENGL&101,” drawing mainly upon the goodwill and talent of friends and colleagues from Washington and Oregon.

I identify as mixed-race, primarily White as my paternal ancestry goes back to the Puritans (I am the 10th great-grandson of Rebecca Nurse of the Salem witch trials) but I also identify as Chinese American and Native American. My maternal grandfather was a “Paper Son,” a Chinese-American who came through Angel Island during the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act. My maternal grandmother was born and raised on the Kaw Nation reservation in Oklahoma. As such, I am dedicated to creating more equitable systems throughout higher education.