Co-Director of General Education, Associate Professor of English, Director of Writing Across the Curriculum
- Phone Number:
- Office Location:
- Mary Berry Hall 323
- Ph.D., English Literature, Purdue University, 2001
M.A., English Literature, Purdue University, 1995
B.A. English, Mary Washington College, 1991
Simpson College has been my professional home since 2001. I have taught both composition and literature, including the British literature survey courses, the Western literature survey, and classical mythology. My specialty is early modern British literature—works by writers like Chaucer and Shakespeare. Not everyone naturally gravitates toward poetry written by dead white men, but I think we learn a great deal about ourselves and our times when we look closely at works that seem so remote from our own experience. The distance gives us perspective. While many students initially think of such material as difficult (or just too old to be interesting), my job is to make it accessible. I teach both writing and literature with an eye toward helping students become better writers and critical thinkers. One of the most important goals of all my courses is to instill students with the confidence to express their reflections and opinions on any subject in a clear and convincing way.
The focus of my research and conference presentations has ranged from classical literature (I wrote the notes for Charles Ross’s translation of the Roman epic The Thebaid) and early modern poetry (work on Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene) to general education curriculum design. In 2012, I presented at the annual conferences of the Association of American Colleges & Universities and the Higher Learning Commission, and I attended the International Writing Across the Curriculum conference.
When I’m not at work, I enjoy walking (I completed my first half-marathon last October and am training for another one), driving through the Iowa countryside, and cooking. My go-to cookbook for the last few years has been Crescent Dragonwagon’s Passionate Vegetarian.