Assistant Professor: English Education
Besides your current classes, what else are you doing or have you done that we should know about? Awards? Special projects? Travel? Service work?
I am working on two projects right now. One is a study of nine White teachers who work in culturally diverse urban school districts. I studied these teachers as they were teaching multicultural young adult texts and looked at the challenges that they faced and how they negotiated dilemmas. The data set is really interesting, and I am excitedly crafting manuscripts for publication. I am also working with a few other researchers on a grant study. We studied students in an urban district who were reading and discussing young adult literature with Islam related content and Muslim protagonists. We were curious if these texts helped them build more complex understandings of representations of a likely unfamiliar religion and culture. Beyond this, I am looking forward to attending the National Council of Teachers of English’s annual
conference and the ALAN Workshop, which focuses on the promotion of young adult literature. I work as Assistant Editor of The ALAN Review and enjoy reading and editing manuscripts.
What inspired you to get a degree in English? How did you choose your concentration?
I served as a high school English teacher for six years and loved teaching. I also really enjoyed researching and presenting at conferences. As an English teacher, I became very interested in teacher preparation and multicultural education, and I decided to return to school to get my PhD in English Education. I loved the experience and was thrilled when I read the CSU job posting because it was a great fit for my interests. I moved from Connecticut this summer and love working at CSU.
We are always trying to debunk the myth that the ONLY options for an English major are to become a writer, teacher, or work in publishing. What sort of possibility, potential do you see for yourself as an English major?
I graduated in 2007 with my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English Education, and many of my friends who were English majors have very successful careers outside of these three options. They work in all sorts of great positions, like human resources and non-profit organizations. I always say, “Everyone appreciates a good reader and writer.” Companies love to have people who can craft beautiful documents, so almost every company could use an English major, in my opinion.
Knowing what you do about it, how would you describe the CSU English department to someone?
A ball of sunshine. Everyone in the department is incredibly bright and warm. I feel as if I have been welcomed with open arms. Further, everyone is passionate about their teaching and research. It’s a great place to me, and I’d recommend this department to anyone!
Why do you think the humanities are important?
I always find kindred spirits in all departments related to the field of humanities. We share a mutual bond of caring about what it means to be human. All (or most) of us value being better people.
What would you like to tell prospective CSU English Department students?
The CSU English Department is phenomenal. You will love the people here!
What advice do you have for current CSU English Department students?
Have fun with your studies! Explore and challenge yourself with courses in which you might not typically enroll. A course might surprise you.
What was the last piece of writing you read or wrote? OR, What are you currently reading, writing?
I am working on a manuscript for publication from the first study (listed in the first interview question). I am looking forward to completing it. Also, I just read Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. It was released last week, and I devoured it in a few hours. It’s fantastic.
What are your hobbies or special interests, what do you enjoy doing with your free time?
Reading! I love reading. I try to read about 200 books per year. If you ever want to chat about books, stop by my office. I could talk about books all day long. I am particularly passionate about young adult literature and multicultural literature.
Where will we find you in five years?
Here, I hope!