** Since I often ask my student to compose a welcome letter for their professional spaces online, I figured I should do the same. Here goes.**
I am a professor in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where I teach classes related to content area reading, new literacies, and English education. Previous to my move to Milwaukee in 2013, I lived, taught, and studied in the Twin Cities metro area of Minnesota.
While completing my PhD at the University of Minnesota, I worked with many juicy thinkers at the Minnesota Writing Project and the Center for Writing. My years in Minnesota allowed me to work with undergraduate students and preservice and practicing teachers from a variety of disciplines. It is my work with learners big and small (I used to teach 5th grade as well as middle school and high school language arts) that inspires me to think about how all of us learn through writing with pen and paper or composition via images, sound, and motion online.
When I’m not teaching or researching literacy, I spend much of my time with my family. I have been married for twelve years to my husband, Jimmy. We have three sons: Oliver, Elias, and Gil, who range in age from 10 to 2 years. Needless to say we have a very energetic home full of building with Legos & Minecraft, and much painting, drawing, music playing and dancing. One of our favorite times of the day is bedtime stories. We are currently reading the Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins. The books are full of underworld adventures with talking bugs and feisty, raucous rats.
In addition to spending time with my family, I love to make movies. Although I’m not a professional movie maker, I am a huge advocate for digital video composition as medium for exploring the potentials of storytelling as well as creating and sharing content knowledge. Thus, it often is a big part of my courses. I find that composing with images, music, and the human voice makes for a very potent storytelling experience both for the author and audience . Even as reading and writing practices migrate to online spaces, story continues to be a prominent vehicle for learning. Here is a “digital story” I helped to make about some ways that digital storytelling can be used as a method of teaching. “The Pedagogy of Digital Storytelling in the College Classroom” (12:00).
If you happen to be taking a course with me, the best way to get in touch with me outside of class is via email. I am online most of the day, checking email and Twitter quite regularly. That said, I do unplug at night to be present with my family and to sleep!
I look forward to learning more about you and your story.