Office: 318 Commons
M.F.A., Creative Writing, Minnesota State University, Mankato, 2008
B.A., English and Mass Communications, Minnesota State University Moorhead, 2005
I hold a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Before coming to UMR, I taught composition and humanities classes for Turtle Mountain Community College in Belcourt, North Dakota. I have also taught composition and creative writing for Minnesota State University, Mankato and onboard a U.S. Navy ship through the Navy College Program for Afloat College Education at Central Texas College. In addition to teaching composition and creative writing, I have also taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in Gyeongju, South Korea and in China for Fort Hays State University (Kansas).
I’ve always imagined learning to be the act of discovery, where through lecture, reading, and discussion students learn to see the world in new ways. I also believe that students hold the natural ability to be critical thinkers – to question and analyze – and as an educator it is my job to help them realize these skills, to help them see the world in a different, more profound way. As an instructor of English, my goal for students involves helping them become critical thinkers. As students read and write, they come to realize these skills and use them to become socially responsible. I hope that students will look at the world in a new way and approach the world with a desire to take action, to utilize their skills as critical thinkers to implement change. Whether this change is small – within their families or circle of friends – or large – within their campus or community – my hope is that students will be able to realize the potential of their writing as a means of expressing their thoughts, feelings, opinions, and personal identity.
My research interests include the ways creative writing and composition can be used to connect to communities both large and small. I am interested in how these connections are made and the potential creative writing has to express thought, feelings, opinions, and ideas in a community. I am also interested in how culture and language are expressed in writing. I am particularly interested in creative nonfiction, including the personal essay, travel writing, literary journalism, and memoir.
I am currently working on a manuscript of personal essays that explore the intersection and over-lapping of different cultures in defining the American experience.
The Last Deployment: How a Gay, Hammer-Swinging Twentysomething Survived a Year in Iraq. University of Wisconsin Press. June 2011.
“The Mustache Race.” Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers. Random House. Sept. 2006.