Research

Scholarly Areas of Interest: Literacy studies, learning transfer, writing and religious identity, WAC/WID, writing assessment, institutional mission, out-of-school literacy practices

Projects in the works: I’m currently putting together two classroom research projects. The first project is an investigation of how in-person interaction with a research specialist effects students’ approaches to research. The second is an investigation into the nature of a “core course” experience. Watch for updates as these projects get off the ground!

Taking in a question during the dissertation defense.

Taking in a question during the dissertation defense.

Dissertation:  In April 2015, I successfully defended my dissertation “An Investigation of the Literacy Practices of Religiously-Engaged Christian College Students.” This dissertation is a qualitative interview and observation study of religiously-engaged Christian students who actively participate in a campus ministry at a large Midwestern university. The study examines what these students read and write across the network of their curricular and extracurricular activities, including reading and writing for academic purposes, to support extracurricular participation, and for spiritual growth.  The study seeks to present a nuanced description of the reading and writing done by religiously-engaged college students, in order to lay the groundwork for a theoretical discussion of how extracurricular activities may be shaping the work of the composition classroom.  The dissertation also seeks to understand what attitudes toward the interpretation and production of text are fostered within the campus ministry, and whether or not these attitudes and dispositions are influencing how religiously-engaged students take up literacy practices in other areas of their lives.  This dissertation will contribute to the field’s understanding of how college students function within a network of literacy sponsors that includes, but is not limited to the primary academic curriculum.  It will also deepen our understanding of how students understand the role that their religious activities and identities play in the classroom.

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