Research

I’m most interested in the development of coherent, responsive writing programs at two-year colleges. By this, I mean the intersection of competing forces–the material realities of in-coming students, many of whom are first-generation or otherwise systemically non-dominant; the material realities of the majority of faculty, who are contingent, over-worked, underpaid, and systemically marginalized; the latest and best theories on teaching and learning for transfer (e.g., the work Kathy Yancey and her colleagues; the work of Neal Learner, Michelle Eodice, and Anne Geller; and the long tradition of knowledge transfer theory and research); and the latest developments in placement (informed self-placement, multiple measures) and assessment (see Asao Inoue’s and others’ critiques of race and writing assessment).

For me, to square the circle of so many competing, complementary, and intersecting forces makes for a dynamic field of intellectual play.

Recent research work includes several TYCA Working Papers and a forthcoming white paper on working conditions of two-year college English faculty; a forthcoming chapter on WCC’s Informed Self-Placemen process (co-authored with Signee Lynch); an article on the intersection of academic freedom and professionalism among contingent faculty (in the special issue of TETYC in spring 2018); a chapter on designing writing assignments to foster learning for transfer in a book edited by Pat Sullivan; a chapter on the effects of marginalization on the professional identities of contingent faculty (co-authored with Amanda Hoppe and Desiree Holter) in a collection edited by Seth Kahn, Bill Lalicker and Amy Lynch; WAC Clearinghouse 2016); and a chapter on the effects of the unspoken neoliberal college mission of the two-year college on the professional identities of two-year college English faculty in a collection edited by Joe Janangelo (Parlor Press 2016–thanks, Joe!).

Prior to that, I co-authored two TYCA white papers, one on developmental education reform and one on placement reform. Both are available as PDFs from NCTE’s website.

Currently, on my campus, I’m working with a group of faculty studying the effects of a “Learning for Transfer” (LFT) curriculum in first-year writing, and with my colleague, Signee Lynch, have developed our fully online Informed Self-Placement process. I’m also fostering conversations about curriculum and social justice issues, advocating for TILT-based assignment design (see Mary-Ann Winklemes’ work at UNLV) and LFT.

With a few colleagues around the state, I’m working with our State Board and Asao Inoue to develop an antiracist writing assessment ecology that can help faculty revise their curriculum, classes, and programs at all two-year colleges in the state as part of a College Spark Grant. Prior to that, I helped lead an initiative that included a series of workshops on coordinating first-year writing courses across the state, at all eight baccalaureate colleges and all 34 community and technical colleges. Begun in 2015 with a visit from Kathy Yancey, we have met again three times during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years.

Finally, I’m working with the TYCA Research Committee, headed up by the indefatigable Holly Hassel, in examining of how increasing workloads among faculty–a 7-7 load is becoming standard–further erodes the professional identities and capacities of faculty teaching those loads, especially contingent, and the professional status of the entire profession. Working papers, white paper, quantitative reports and maybe a book continue to arise from that work.

Thanks for reading. Let me know if you’d like to join in any of the work!