When I finished undergrad, I wanted nothing to do with school. I started working in the film industry, first as a video assist operator and later a rigging grip. Over the course of a decade, I worked on numerous major motion pictures including Mare of Easttown, Creed I and II, Glass, and Marley & Me. But school called me back. Looking for a new artistic endeavor, I enrolled in Drexel’s creative writing program. Drexel offered a teaching fellowship, and I surprised myself to discover how much I enjoyed teaching.
During this time, the work of Cynthia Selfe surprised me as well. She and other scholars considered media literacy and multimodal composition (which includes things like podcasts, films, and PowerPoints) a valid focus of composition classrooms. In an increasingly technological world, media literacy and multimodal composition are becoming as indispensable as traditional textual literacy. This inclusive view of composition and rhetoric dovetailed with my experiences in the film industry and became the focus of my teaching.
I am drawn to the connection between literacy and thought. Our proficiency with literacy (textual and multimodal) both limits and empowers us. My courses are designed to illustrate those limits and equip students with the processes and practices to continue developing their literacies. They are a venue to foster curiosity, wonder, and community and explore a wide array of topics—creativity, politics, technology, science, the past, the future, the external world, and the internal world. At the end of the day, I hope my students leave my courses with a better understanding of themselves and the world that they are part of.