Current Position: Assistant Professor at SUNY-Albany
Supervisor: Davida Charney
Dissertation: ''Critics, Classrooms, and Commonplaces: Literary Studies as a Disciplinary Discourse Community''
Awards: Outstanding Master's Report (2000)
Why did you come to the University of Texas?UTs rhetoric program is ranked one of best in the country, so its academic credentials heavily influenced my decision to come to Texas to get my Ph.D.
What advantages does UT's English Graduate Program offer its students?I really appreciated how much input graduate students had in the running of the department; we had a say in everything from hiring new faculty members to committee decisions addressing changes in teaching and administrative practices. In this way, I think the department does a great job of providing us with the professional skills needed to be successful in today's competitive job market. Also, the size and diversity of UT's English Department affords the incoming graduate student the opportunity to explore many different fields of study before settling on a final concentration. In addition, UT's strong standing in areas such as ''Ethnic and Third World'' and ''Renaissance Studies'' ensures that you will be surrounded by bright and sharp peers no matter what concentration you ultimately decide on. Finally, I benefited from the energy of a large program whose academic diversity and friendly student body is hard to beat.
On a less academic note . . .Austin is fantastic! It has great restaurants, amazing local musicians and natural springs that will keep you cool even in the August heat!
What was your individual experience like at UT?Being an Assistant Director in the Department of Rhetoric and Composition was a great experience. Not only did the position give me an advantage when seaching for jobs, but it provided me with first hand experience about how an academic department is run and how it functions within the university community at large. Most important, however, were the rhetoric faculty members who I worked with when writing my dissertation and who influenced me profoundly.
In my first semester at UT I took a research methods course with Dr. Davida Charney that was enormously inspiring. I actually began my dissertation in that class! In it I proposed a research project that ultimately turned into a published article and a chapter in my dissertation. Dr. Rosa Eberly and Dr. Linda Ferreira-Buckley were also extremely influential mentors. My thinking about my dissertation project (and about my teaching) was nurtured by the community formed by these three scholars. I took a lot from each of them, but my greatest gains were made trying to think through ways to reconcile some areas where they disagreed. In this respect, I guess you could say they really made present for me the idea of an academic discourse community.