The task of writing well asks us to pay attention to the world around us, to see the common bush as a holy bush, to see everyday experiences as possibilities for resurrection. These sentiments have been the impetus for much of the work I have done in the past few years, including graduate education and teaching here at King.
I graduated from King with a BA in English in 2007, and it is good and humbling to have some of my most influential teachers as colleagues now. They continue to inspire me with their dedication to their students and subjects. I returned to academic studies after a brief hiatus, attending the University of Tennessee, and in 2012 I graduated with a Masters in English Literature after completing a thesis on theologies of place in Appalachian literature. In the program at UT I also had the opportunity to teach composition and tutor in the Writing Center. During this time I came to realize the importance of the first-year composition course in initiating students into practicing the thoughtful and engaged conversations invaluable to all college experiences. As I tutored students during this time as well, I also came to appreciate the important service that Writing Centers offer to campuses and individuals.
These two opportunities prepared me for the work that I do at King. In 2012, I began teaching Composition at King and became the Assistant Manager of the Writing Center. In the time since I have had the pleasure to teach several English literature classes as well, and have discovered an interest in teaching young adult literature. I have also been given the opportunity to direct the Writing Center, and I look forward to welcoming students into this space.
Throughout my teaching and studies, the work of Wendell Berry has challenged me in and beyond the university. Much of my time in the summers is spent planning, planting, and harvesting a large garden located on the patch of family land where I grew up. Through this, I have explored enacting some of the commitments I have been led to through my academic studies. When not getting my hands dirty in the garden, I can usually be found hiking, visiting coffee shops, or generally spending time with my husband, Jason and dog, Lucy. I am also thankful to be part of the Hopwood Christian Church community in Johnson City, TN, from which I continually draw support and meaning for the work I do.