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 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, we are rolling 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 to lead 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 this year and have workshops scheduled for February and May of 2018.

Also, at the state level, I’m co-facilitating, with Shannon Waits at Highline College, discussions and workshops on implementing directed self-placement at the states’ community and technical colleges, borrowing heavily from Christie Toth at Utah (thanks, Christie!).

Future research I hope to participate in includes an examination of how increasing workloads among contingent faculty–a 7-7 load is becoming standard–further erodes the professional identities of faculty teaching those loads and the professional status of the entire profession.

Advertisements