Professor of English
- Phone Number:
- Office Location:
- Mary Berry Hall 322
- 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 several May Term international travel courses (locations include Germany, Poland, and Costa Rica). 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. 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. My recent professional activities include participation in the International Writing Across the Curriculum conference (2012) and presentations at conferences of the Association of American Colleges & Universities (2012) and the Higher Learning Commission (2012 and 2013).
When I’m not at work, I enjoy walking (I have completed two half-marathons and am training for another one this October), driving through the Iowa countryside, and cooking. My go-to cookbook for the last few years has been Crescent Dragonwagon’s Passionate Vegetarian.