MFA, MA, MBA
Professor, Course Creator, Creative Thinker
My teaching philosophy focuses on exposing students to writing in all forms so they can understand the history of the craft and allow that knowledge to influence their own style. Creativity and uniqueness are to be celebrated and I strive to do so in my course design, drawing upon world texts, both past and present, to illustrate the strength of literature. Reading comprehension is not the only goal when reviewing prose and poetry. An understanding of life during the time period, the proclivities of man, and the implications of beliefs should also be taken into account such that the humanity of the writer is understood and relatable. It is with this understanding that I believe students are able to connect with authors from different time periods and from all over the world. That connection allows students to dig deeper within themselves to produce their best, most soul-stirring work.
Reading and research are the tenets that frame my pedagogy. A clear understanding of the writer and the times within which they lived is required to understand their position and/or mindset when crafting a piece. Elements of history and sociology come into play as well, forming as complete a picture of the writer as is possible. The concept of blended learning offers a unique opportunity to let students explore outside the confines of traditional learning formats. The use of the Internet, access to documentaries, and even physically traveling to destinations where possible gives students a sense of connection to the subject that is far deeper than what can be achieved through textbooks and lecture alone. Connecting with each other to discuss what has been learned is also a method that I am a proponent of. In-class interaction aside, the use of online tools, discussion boards within an e-learning course site, and video journaling (or vlogging) are tools that I utilize frequently to provide communication opportunities that stimulate independent, original thought. Students are encouraged to go out into the world to conduct their research, utilizing all the technological advancements available that relate to the theme of the course.
The depth of understanding displayed in student essays, discussion board posts, and exams is the measurement by which I determine student and curriculum proficiency. Understanding the history of the author, the purpose of the writing, and the meaning of the work will be evidenced in the student’s ability to answer related complex questions. The progression and dimension of their writing over the course of the term will speak to their enhanced focus and understanding of the world around them, what has come before, and who they are as writers.
Helping students to see the natural connection that all people have with each other is the overarching goal of my teaching career. To show students how authors have touched people of all races and creeds and teach them how to let their own inner voices out so they can do the same is the sole purpose of my academic existence. I strive to teach students that their voices can be heard the world over if they would only utter a sound.
Conferences/ Speaking Engagements
- In Your Write Mind, Seton Hill University – Author Guest of Honor (2022)
- Pop Culture Association (Anticipated 2022)
- Pop-up Academic Conference on Pop Culture, Lone Star College-University Park (2021)
- In Your Write Mind, Seton Hill University (2021)
- MultiverseCon Academic Track (2021)
- Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference (2021)
- Writing in the Dark: Horror Writing Symposium (2021)
- All Access Con/ Writing Genre While Black (2020)
- Vampire Academic Conference (2020)
- Urban Media Makers Film Festival/ Featured Filmmaker Series (2020)
- Multiculturalism and Diversity Workshop, Shepherd University (2015)
- Horrorfind Convention (2005)
Textbooks, Essays, & Articles
- About Horror: The Study and Craft. Mocha Memoirs Press
- Chapter in Conjuring Worlds: An Afrofuturist Textbook: African American Horror Authors and Their Craft: The Evolution of Horror Fiction from African Folklore.
- Westworld and the Reflection of Self: A Reception Theory Analysis. Westworld: Manufactured Humanities, Dreams, and Nightmares. (Anticipated 2022)
- The Horror of Change. DWASF Journal (Anticipated 2022)
- Shakespearean Horror (2020)
- All Stories are Horror Stories. Chosen Realities (2020)
- Horror and Romance: Doppelgangers in Need. Chosen Realities (2020)
- Women in Horror (2018)