"[Students] will learn how to express themselves effectively and professionally in many different contexts, from communicating with their coworkers and bosses to addressing customers and writing formal enquiries to those they don't know."
- MPhil – Cambridge University, 2008
- M.A. – University of London, 2006
- B.A. – Illinois State University, 2002
I worked as an associate director of Dalkey Archive Press, a literary nonprofit publisher, for many years before starting to teach at UHV.
In which online bachelor's degree programs do you teach?
Which classes do you teach in the online?
What types of projects can students expect in your online courses?
My professional writing online class consists mostly of written lectures followed by writing assignments that puts what was covered in the lecture and textbook into practice. My courses also use the discussion board to discuss the practical implications of the materials in the professional world.
What should students take away from your classes? What do they learn?
Above all, students should take away the importance of being able to express themselves clearly in clean prose, and its ramifications when they enter the professional world. They will learn how to express themselves effectively and professionally in many different contexts, from communicating with their coworkers and bosses to addressing customers and writing formal enquiries to those they don't know.
What advice would you give to those considering an online bachelor's degree program?
In my experience, the best online students are those who take the initiative and try to learn as much as possible beyond just turning in assignments. Many of my most successful students inundated my inbox with questions (this is not a complaint!), and they often asked how to make their work exceed the requirements of the course. Not only do they receive better grades, but I often feel that they have mastered the material and understand its importance outside of the classroom. In other words, do all of the above and you'll get the most out of your online degree!
What is the value of a bachelor's degree? What are some of the skills students gain in this program?
In terms of monetary value, I believe a bachelor's degree greatly enhances your chances to succeed in the professional world. In some ways, it is a certificate that says to a potential employer that you are indeed trainable and that you valued yourself enough to expand your knowledge in a variety of areas. From an academic and personal standpoint, the completion of a bachelor's degree indicates a well-rounded intellect and the ability to work successfully in a variety of disciplines. It also provides the tools needed to think critically about the great variety of messages we receive daily across the different kinds of media that float across our screens. The importance of critical-thinking skills cannot be stressed enough.
Why did you start teaching?
I decided to teach because I wanted to be able to pass on the skills I was taught by my professors that helped me both personally and in the professional world. I had several professors who have had a lasting influence on my life, and I hope to be such a professor myself.
What is the one book you think everyone should read?
Montaigne's essays. Of all the writers I've read, he is the most human and taught me what self-awareness really is.
Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students may not know.
I've had the good fortune of being able to travel to many places throughout the world, and even lived in the United Kingdom for five years.