In my teaching, I bring ideas from my research into practice, by adopting an embodied, multimodal pedagogy that intentionally explores the societal implications of rhetorical practice.
In 2018, on the strength of my portfolio and several confidential recommendation letters, I was awarded the Graduate Student Teaching Award from CMU's English Department. The award committee wrote: "The enthusiastic comments and the extensive letters from students clearly demonstrate that you have impacted many students here at Carnegie Mellon University in a profound way. We saw you as a strong 'ambassador' who has been particularly successful connecting what we do in teaching writing to other kinds of research in the university. Your evaluations are consistently outstanding. We were all extremely impressed with the care and comprehensiveness of your portfolio." I was also then a nominee for the University-wide teaching award, where my portfolio was commended as well: "It's clear from your nomination packet that CMU students are lucky to have you as an instructor."
In Fall 2013, when I taught a first-year writing course theme about cyborgs, students designed and implemented a website from scratch to showcase their final papers (best viewed on a computer, to see the mouseover effects). Students wrote their own papers, and each included an image in their analysis, but they also drew on their diverse skills to collectively a) design a website (which they chose, out of self-confidence and Computer Science purity, to hand-code), b) organize papers into sections, c) create an icon for each section, and d) format each paper consistently. This public-facing collaborative effort speaks to a long-term direction of my teaching.
In 2012, I led 35 at-risk high-school students in a 6-week community writing
project through video (see below). The students were participants in Pittsburgh’s
“WorkReady” job training program. Monday through Thursday, each participant
worked at a local internship. On Fridays, I led the group as part of a
metacognitive component of the program that reinforced work skills
(accountability, collaboration, networking, etc.). I structured our time so that
the students collaboratively wrote and acted out a short movie.
This narrative structure allowed for not only each participant to have a
speaking part in the movie, but also to have a multi-voiced narrative that
embedded rival ideas about working. Below is the final composition:
[The narrative arc: First, in a nightmare sequence, a friend tries to persuade the protagonist not to bother earning money, but to find other ways to get by. Then, he wakes up resolved to get a job. Through the day, his friends give him advice about what it takes to be work ready. That night, in a reversal, he dreams about his success.]