In a special weekly series, the College of Liberal Arts is featuring a faculty member from one of our 13 departments. We asked questions about why they are passionate about the subjects they study and teach, and how they found their path to CSU. See all “Faculty Friday” features here.
Associate Professor in the Department of English; Director of Composition; Director of the Center for the Study of Academic Labor; Vice Chair of Faculty Council
1. Why do you research/teach/study?
I research the rhetorics of academic labor and the faculty career. Focusing on this related area allows me to combine my research and my engagement efforts in the community as I strive to improve the working conditions and status of faculty of all ranks.
2. Which class is your favorite to teach and why?
I love all the courses I teach, but my graduate course in autoethnography has been especially rewarding due to the work that it has led to by many graduate students. Several have done autoethnographic theses and some have published their work.
3. What did you want to be when you were little? When did you know you wanted to go into higher education/research?
I wanted to be a pharmacist. I liked science a lot and thought that dispensing drugs would be a fine calling. Shortly thereafter, I wanted to be an urban planner, probably because I grew up in the middle of rural Illinois. I landed on higher education as a fine compromise since it involves plenty of dispensing of things like advice and opportunity as well as the chance to see parts of the world outside my native cornfields.
4. How did you get to CSU?
My family fell in love with CSU when my husband was getting his Ph.D. here in the late 1980s. We returned here after years doing other things and as my husband completed his time with the U.S. Army. After arriving here, I completed my own Ph.D. here at CSU.
5. What is one thing students would be surprised to learn about you?
As residue from my time growing up in Illinois, where the best tomatoes in the world are grown, I eat vine-ripened tomatoes until I burn holes in my tongue and throat. When I’m on my deathbed, I have but one request; place a tiny piece of tomato on the tip of my tongue and I will drift happily off into the ever after.