What I'm All About

My academic career has been driven by curiosity of finding out how things are done. How do words move people? How do we learn? Why do some forms of evidence seem strong and others not so much? Where does writing come from? I believe the life I live is one of, as Lear calls it, “God’s Spies,” where I sit and ponder “the mystery of things” (without the being imprisoned part, of course). This is the essence of the curiosity that I bring to my academic work, and that I model for my students in classes.

I received my doctorate after studying in the Department of Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. I spend much of my time researching literacy and expertise, teaching Technical Writing courses, and working as the Editorial Assistant on a premier Writing Studies journal, Written Communication.

My dissertation research investigates literacy acquisition in labor contexts in the early 1900s. I argue that in this context, literacy is not only a mark of functional ability, but also an economic construct through which the powerful may exploit poor immigrants in dire labor conditions. The achievement of literacy through progressive education programs, improves welfare of learners not because it helps them assimilate to American cultures, but also gives them a voice and vocabulary through which they may participate in democracy. For much of this research, I examine the archives of the International Ladies’ Garment Worker’s Union (ILGWU) Education Department in the context of other “Americanization” efforts.

I am presently an Assistant Professor at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. I teach courses on Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication.

When I am not involved in academic work I enjoy watching baseball, reading, jogging, playing the violin, cooking, bowling, and automotive repair.

We two alone will sing like birds i’ the cage:
When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down,
And ask of thee forgiveness: so we’ll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news; and we’ll talk with them too,
Who loses and who wins; who’s in, who’s out;
And take upon’s the mystery of things,
As if we were God’s spies: and we’ll wear out,
In a wall’d prison, packs and sects of great ones,
That ebb and flow by the moon.
King Lear – Act 5, Scene 3