MA Graduate Committee Candidates
Sidney Turner, Florida State University
My name is Sidney Turner and I am a first year MA student studying Rhetoric and Composition at Florida State University. I plan on pursuing a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition after completing my Masters. My research interests include visual rhetoric, identity and archival studies. I have been tutoring since I was an undergraduate student at FSU, and within this role I realized that I enjoy working with students and helping them grow as writers and thinkers. I recently presented at SWCA on writing center research regarding student-athlete identity in academia. As an English Graduate TA I have had the opportunity to tutor in the FSU Reading Writing Center, develop my own syllabi, create class activities, and gain exposure to the workings of a writing program from the perspective of an active member of the instructing team. I am currently teaching for the first time this semester. Teaching my own section of ENC2135 Genre, Research and Context has solidified my theory that I would love being an instructor, and I am thrilled to be developing my teaching persona. Read Sidney Turner’s application responses here.
PhD Candidates (Can Serve 2+ Years)
Megan J. Busch, University of South Carolina
Megan J. Busch is a composition and rhetoric PhD candidate at the University of South Carolina studying the intersections of Southern dialect, business communications, and writing pedagogy (both digital and traditional). Theoretically rooted in translingualism, her research navigates the contact zone of Southern language varieties and Standard American English in the composition classroom and in the practice of business writing and communications. Busch had the honor of presenting facets of her overall research at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention in 2018 and at the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) in 2019. Before pursuing her PhD, Busch earned her MA in English at College of Charleston, and she served as a professional writer for eight years in publishing and advertising. Other academic interests include digital curriculum development, document design, and the rhetoric of marketing communications. Read Megan Busch’s application responses here.
Claire Jackson, University of Louisville
Claire Jackson is a second-year PhD Student in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Louisville. Her research interests include writing program administration, teacher development, writing assessment and pedagogy, and transfer. Before beginning her PhD, Claire was a high school teacher in rural Maine, an experience that led her to realize how institutional structures constrain what is possible in writing pedagogy and assessment, which led to a commitment to developing more equitable writing programs. When not working, she spends most of her time spoiling her elderly cat. Read Claire Jackson’s application responses here.
Gabrielle Kelenyi, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Gabrielle (Gabbi) Kelenyi is a PhD student in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Composition & Rhetoric Program. Until recently, Gabbi served as a 9th Grade Composition Teacher and a Class of 2018 Advisor at a charter school in Chicago, where she enjoyed coaching the school’s Cross Country and Track teams and sponsoring a variety of after-school clubs. She concurrently earned her MA in Teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education. Before becoming an educator, Gabbi earned her BA in English and Spanish at Pomona College in Claremont, California, and participated in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program as an English Teaching Assistant at a private university in Panama City, Panama. Gabbi is interested in writing program administration, writing development across the lifespan, and researching best practices for teaching writing effectively at all grade levels. She enjoys reading and writing, running long(ish) distances, exploring new places, and cooking (and eating) delicious meals! Read Gabrielle Kelenyi’s application responses here.
Roberto S. Leon, University of Maryland College Park
Heather Listhartke, Miami University
Hi, I’m Heather Listhartke. I’m a first year PhD at Miami University in the Rhetoric and Composition concentration. I have interested in digital literacy and composition, classical rhetoric, access and user experience, and cultural rhetorics. I also have interest in pedagogy and WPA with a focus on curriculum development that addresses WAC/WID principles and writing. My final interest is related to my intersectional identity as a single mother academic and how it relates to the overall narrative of the rhetorics of motherhood. I’ve served on the WPA-GO sub committees for two years and see this as a natural progression of professionalization and role for participating and advancing the community for graduate students as a whole. Read Heather Listhartke’s application responses here.
Laura Hardin Marshall, Saint Louis University
Laura Hardin Marshall is a PhD student in Rhetoric and Composition at Saint Louis University. She received her Master’s degree from the University of Oxford in English Language and Literature, after which she accumulated experiences at various universities and community colleges in her area. During that time, she taught developmental writing, first-year composition, and entry-level literature courses as well as collaborating one-on-one with students (face-to-face and online) at different writing centers and online writing centers. It was through such work that she began asking questions and exploring research on responding to student writing and feedback uptake, which ultimately led to her desire to continue her education in the ways students develop as writers and how writing programs and support services like writing centers facilitate that development. Read Laura Hardin Marshall’s application responses here.
Morgan McDougall, Bowling Green State University
My name is Morgan McDougall and I am a first-year Ph.D. Student studying Rhetoric and Writing at Bowling Green State University. I also hold a B.S. in Education and an M.A. in English. I came to the field after teaching my first composition class in 2016 and discovered that teaching writing and working within a writing program are exactly where I am meant to be. After spending one year teaching composition, I have spent two years as a graduate mentor to new instructors within the writing program. I also sit on multiple committees: reviewing student writing for our undergraduate journal, WRIT, and coordinating our Undergraduate Writing Showcase. My research interests include writing program administration, writing transfer, and dual-credit participation in composition courses. My most recent article, “Expanding Horizons: Teaching Native American Multicultural Literature in the Secondary Language Arts Classroom” is published in the Virginia English Journal’s Winter 2019 issue. Read Morgan McDougall’s application responses here.
Amanda Rose Pratt, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Derek Sherman, Purdue University
Derek Sherman is a third-year PhD student at Purdue University who studies assessment, composition pedagogy, writing across the curriculum, writing program administration, and institutional critique. Specifically, he studies how institutional status impacts writing programs and their missions. In a current project, Derek has researched how the inclusion of intersectional research methods and pedagogy collide with his institution’s status and mission. Questions, however, pertaining to institutions outside R1s are still numerous. Additionally, Derek currently serves as the assessment research coordinator for Introductory Composition at Purdue (ICaP) and as a graduate research assistant with Purdue’s Polytechnic Institute. He will become assistant director of assessment in ICaP in Fall 2019. Besides his nerdy research agenda, Derek enjoys playing video games, reading young adult literature—a habit from his high school teaching days—and, weirdly enough, putting furniture together. Read Derek Sherman’s application responses here.
Brian Urias, Bowling Green State University
After five years teaching English in South Korea, I returned to the United States and resumed teaching college writing—work I highly enjoyed while earning the MA I received just before going overseas. The work I did as an adjunct instructor, which included rewriting the course shell for online sections of first-year writing, prompted me toward doctoral studies for improving my own pedagogy and making worthwhile contributions to writing studies and instruction. My research interests are in online writing instruction, writing transfer, and writing program administration. Though I put artificial bounds around those three, I love learning from my colleagues about feminist rhetorics, assessment, language variation, popular culture, and much more. My interests outside of academia include playing board games, reading fantasy novels and comic books, jamming on my bass guitar, and giggling. Read Brian Urias’ application responses here.
Megan Von Bergen, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
I am currently a PhD student in Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. WPA work is one of my core research areas; last fall, I co-wrote a report on the value of mission statements in establishing writing program identity, and I am currently researching pedagogical responses to religious writing in first-year composition. Prior to my doctoral work, I earned my MA (English Literature) from Kansas State University in 2010, then spent seven years as sole writing faculty and de facto WPA at Emmaus Bible College in Iowa. There, many of my students were evangelical, though I am not. When I rewrote the first-year writing curriculum to bring it up-to-date with best practices in the field, I also designed assignments to spark creative, empathetic, out-of-the-box thinking in my students. I loved the work and it sparked my desire to return for my PhD. When I’m not reading or writing, I like to go running in the Smoky Mountains. Read Megan Von Bergen’s application responses here.
Katie Walkup, University of South Florida
I’m a second-year PhD student in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of South Florida, where I do program work and study rhetoric of health and medicine and digital rhetoric. My WPA experience includes serving as the first year composition program’s Junior WPA and research assistant to the Director of Composition. My programmatic goals include orienting the first year composition sequence toward my institution’s general education curriculum, and increasing transparency between institution, program, and course-level goals. The theories and methods I use in my research inform my program work by helping me see writing programs as ecologies, and giving me the digital tools to examine these ecologies. Read Katie Walkup’s application responses here.
Stacy Wittstock, University of California-Davis
PhD Candidates (Can Serve At Least 1 Year)
Katie Beth Brooks, Virginia Tech
Susan Duba, University of Kansas
Edrees Nawabi, Washington State University