Joined Eastern: 1994
Narrativeâ€”how we assemble and tell stories, how we arrange ourselves daily in a story, how we remember and re-member our humanity across the yearsâ€”are my preoccupations and research interests. Am fascinated by what brain science is telling us about narrative and memory. Am obsessed with noticing how thinking and becoming are entwined in the writing process. Have studied and written about Mennonite historiography. Am writing a memoir.
Professional Experience and Passion
Following years as a professional writer in medical, educational, and historical settings, I began teaching advanced writing and composition courses at Eastern. Before this, I also taught business writing courses for the federal government and had my own freelance business while I was getting fiction and nonfiction published. I studied playwriting at the Walnut Street Theater School and had several dramatic works performed. Under my mentorship, students have seen their own works published in magazines, journals, and news publications, or theyâ€™ve seen word become flesh in dramatic performances! I enjoy guiding students in their writing of creative nonfiction, fiction, drama, and academic writing.
A garden-to-table foodie, I incorporate a sense of food justice and food safety into my college writing course. I love how food culture can nurture a sense of belonging and family, so my students have to interview older generations about their food practices. I want them to have the pleasure of original research. I am active in my Quaker meeting and serve my institution as a biographer of colleagues for their promotion and tenure.Â
Writing Courses Frequently Taught
MA, English, Villanova
Additional study with Tom Boomershine (Biblical storytelling), Robert McKee (dramatic story structure), and Thomas Larson (memoir)
Selected Recent Publications and Presentations
â€śWhatâ€™s God Got to Do with It? Teaching Personal Narrative at a Faith-based Institutionâ€ť in Spirituality in Higher Education: Autoethnographies. Heewon Chang and Drick Boyd, eds. Left Coast Press, 2011.
Magazine work has included profiles of individuals involved in food justice, an autobiographical singer, and a student, teacher, and teaching assistant involved collaboratively in a writing process experience, 2010-2013.
â€śBreaking Down a Writing Assignment into Manageable Parts: The Introduction as an Assignment,â€ť 2012.