The first point of engagement is the first day of class and at that point I begin an earnest quest to know who my students are--their backgrounds, their academic goals, their special interests--and I also share my own background and special interests with them. This vantage point allows for an organic deep dive into social justice and environmental issues that are at the heart of my teaching and writing philosophies. Through the lens of such concerns, the rhetorical processes become immediately relevant as students explore the impact of such issues upon their own lives. This exploration involves fact-based research missions during which I insist my students learn what is and what is not a credible source. This emphasis is especially important at a time when misinformation runs rampant on the internet and discernment as regards facts is a critical existential tool. I also want my students to have fun learning, and to that end, I produced educational cabarets with my classes as a culminating event at the end of each term. Content for these productions is student-created and involves integration of the arts around informative presentations relative to subjects covered in class. The specific arts integrated into the productions vary as they stem from students' various interests and, often, experience in theater, dance, poetry, visual arts, and music. While addressing very serious matters, relating to them through the arts provides ownership and empowerment around these issues that might otherwise remain elusive.
I have been teaching English in higher learning environments and high schools for 15 years. I am also a professional writer, musician, and environmental advocate who believes that learning should be relevant, enjoyable, and inspire students to make the world a better place.
Students are expected to prepay for sessions when they are booked and payment is non-refundable. If, for any reason, I am unable to meet with a student at the arranged date and time, student will be reimbursed for the session.
Academic Tutor, English, where mastery of the language arts and rhetorical genres, as well as TESL certification will be assets
Diploma, Professional Music (1980) Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts
B.A., English (2003) Magna Cum Laude, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee
M.A., English (2004) Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee
Teaching English As A Second Language, Tennessee Language Center/Institute for Public Service (July 2020)
Higher Learning Experience:
Tennessee State University — Adjunct Professor of English (Fall 2011-Spring 2021)
Volunteer State Community College — Adjunct Professor of English (Fall 2008-Spring 2012)
Cumberland University — Adjunct Professor of English (Fall 2005-Spring 2008)
Tennessee Women’s Theater Project---Presentation of Black Ophelia, an original green theater production (October 2019)
Commission on the Status of Women, United Nations--- Presentation of Mermaid Asylum, an original green theater production (March 2019)
Voices of Bangla, NGO of United Nations---Member, Board of Directors, (January 2019-current)
Boston Greenfest ---Facilitator of green workshops; presenter of green music and theater; participant in green seminars (2015-2018)
Cinema Verde Environmental Film Festival --- Facilitator of green workshops; presenter of green music and theater; participant in green seminars (2014-2015)
PASS Tutoring, Tennessee State University---Provided tutoring services to students seeking writing assistance (August 2015-August 2020)
VSA Arts of Tennessee — Teaching Artist in summer program for children with and without disabilities, designed to expose students to other cultures through dance, drama, literature, music, and the visual arts (July 2008;July 2010)
Tennessee Arts Commission — Teaching Artist facilitating literacy program designed for K-12 classrooms in which literary texts are transformed through artist/teacher/student interaction into musical formats (2004-2010)
Papers Presented in Graduate Studies or at Conference
The Classroom Carnival: Towards an Integration of the Arts in the Teaching of English to the Working Class and Minorities; Jean Toomer: Becoming Blue; Jean Toomer's "Blood Burning Moon"; Carnival as Expressed in Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus and its Relevance to the "Evolution of the Word"; Waxing Exotic: Dryden and Purcell View The Indian Queen
The Hills Will Cradle Thee, Bait & Tackle Records, Nashville: 2010 (Artist: Lainie Marsh); "Jalopy," National Public Radio, 2004 (Program: “Car Talk“); “Banjo Moon,” Warner/Rough Trade Records, London: 2003 (Artist: Cerys Matthews); “A Ways to Go,” Elektra-Asylum Records, New York: 1994 (Artist: Emmylou Harris).
Awards, Memberships, and Affiliations:TSU Faculty Award in the College of Liberal Arts; ASCAP Achievement Award; Sigma Tau Delta, International English Honor Society; Tennessee Arts Commission; American Society of Composers and Performers; Harry Fox Agency
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