Assistant Professor of English
I hold an M.A. and PhD in English from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. For my M.A., I focused in Medieval and Renaissance Literature. For my PhD, I focused in Rhetoric and Composition. My dissertation, an ethnographic research study, investigated the writing processes of student writers in an advanced undergraduate academic writing class, with particular focus on how interest, motivation, and self-confidence impacted students' approaches to academic writing.
Since coming to USI as an Assistant Professor in 2007, I have continued to focus on improving students' approaches to writing by increasing their interest in writing tasks, their motivation to learn more about writing as a craft and about themselves as writers, and instilling in them the necessary self-confidence to see themselves as writers. All of my classrooms are writing classrooms, for I believe writing and learning are deeply, intrinsically connected. Some of the courses I teach are technical and professional writing classes such as "Writing for Professions" and "Writing in the Digital Age"; however, I also teach first-year composition courses, pedagogy courses for Teaching Emphasis majors, and practicum courses for Writing Center tutors.
My current research focuses more on writing centers (tutoring) than on writing classrooms. I am particularly interested in how issues of diversity - race, class, gender, language, religion, and sexual orientation - impact the one-to-one writing center tutorial. My publications have appeared in The Journal of College Writing; Praxis: A Writing Center Journal; and Reconstruction. I also have a chapter in Susan Garza's recent edited collection Service Learning in Composition. My creative works, a series of young adult science fiction novels, have been published under my pen name, Jesse Daro.