I grew up in small town Ohio surrounded by pickup trucks and cattle farms. At every high school dance they played "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy." No joke. I took a few classes at The Ohio State University during high school, and subsequently went on to finish my Bachelor of Arts in English there in 2009.
After graduation I got a cube job with which I transferred to a new facility in Arizona in 2010. Although I had a good position within the company and initially satisfied with my position, I grew to be dissatisfied with cube life. So, I made the decision to go back to school to get my MA in the fall of 2011. I applied and was accepted to the Literature program at Arizona State University. Since I made the decision after the school year had begun, I started the program in January of 2012. However, after taking a rhetoric class my first semester as a graduate student (Rhetoric of Axe Murders, focusing on the case of Helen Jewett), I knew I needed to switch majors. There was something about finding patterns and connections within real-world human communication that appealed deeply to me. Basically, I discovered I'm a huge nerd for rhetorical analysis.
In December of 2013, I presented my applied project titled "Private Thought and Public Discourse in the Social Media Sphere" that used sphere theory to argue for the influential role that media and popular culture play in both online discourse and the public sphere that in response to the popular decline narrative of the public sphere touted by such scholars at Jürgen Habermas and David Zarefsky. It additionally creates a framework for the theorization of unconstructive discourse and argues for the reconsideration of the way online social etiquette is constructed in order to reflect how online interactions differ from face-to-face interactions. Finally, these points are exemplified by an analysis of unconstructive discourse in an online space. I presented the findings of this case study at Social Media & Society in September of 2014.
After a harrowing round of PhD applications in the Fall 2013 semester, I was accepted to the Writing, Rhetorics, and Literacies program at Arizona State University. So, In August of 2014, I began the second part of my journey as a graduate student. I am eager to expand my knowledge of the digital humanities, gender studies, composition, and feminist theory/pedagogy; I am also thoroughly enjoying my role as an instructor. Thus far, I have taught First Year Composition and Writing for the Professions. I am excited to teach Strategies of Academic Writing in Spring 2016. It is my goal to effectively integrate various forms of media (including social media) into the classroom to give students a well-rounded English education that focuses on developing critical thinking and writing skill sets that will help them throughout both their college and professional careers.
For more of my thoughts on academia, research, and pedagogy, and current events check out my blog.
My current research interests focus on digital media, including, more specifically, online identity construction and the internet as lived space in addition to integrating feminist pedagogical notions into my own pedagogy. I look forward to presenting on the ethos and community building practices of Tumblr bloggers in May at RSA.
Banner Photo by Scott Taylor.