Virginia Wright-Peterson

Virginia Wright-Peterson, Ph.D.

Faculty, CLI
+1 507 258 8236
(507) 258-8066


Ph.D., English, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
M.A., English, University of Minnesota-Duluth
B.S., Business-Accounting, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Upon graduation, everyone is expected to be technically competent. Communication skills are often important differentiators on the job and for graduate studies. I am committed to an innovative, learner-centered approach to teaching that empowers students to become the best they can.


I have ten years of teaching experience and seventeen years of experience in health care administration. I am eager to apply my writing, teaching, and health care background to helping students at UMR prepare for careers in health care. Part of my teaching experience took place when I was a Fulbright scholar in Algeria.


I realize that most people do not enjoy writing as much as I do. I hope to convince students that writing is one of the most powerful skills they can master. With practice, they will improve and find the process easier and possibly even more enjoyable. Once students begin to look at writing as a path to discovery and a mode for critical thinking and expression, I believe they will see utility in it beyond writing college papers for a grade. I will primarily be working with first year students in Writing Studio I and II.


I am searching for the most effective and expedient method for inoculating college writers with the ability to punctuate their writing appropriately. If we could spend less time learning about correct comma placement and other aspects of grammar and punctuation, we could spend more time on the more substantive and fun aspects of writing. I am also interested in utilizing technology to improve learning outcomes.

In addition, I am committed to continue to develop as a writer because I think it makes me a better teacher. I am currently working on a book that tells the stories of the women who made substantial contributions to the founding and establishment of the Mayo Clinic.

Publication and Awards

“Arriving in Algeria Before McDonald’s.” Distinguished Faculty Lecture, Rochester Community and Technical College. Rochester, MN. Sept. 2006.

“On Deployment Now,” a blog based on experiences working for the American Red Cross on a military base in Northern Iraq. 2008. Web.

I am currently writing a book about thirty women who made instrumental contributions to the founding and ultimate success of the Mayo Clinic.