As a student with multiple diagnosed disabilities, a high school dropout, and eventually a returning low-income single parent through most of university, I taught myself to navigate systems that were not designed for me. The teachers who gave me latitude and encouragement stood out and remain memorable: they opened doors for me. In turn I continue to open doors for students. In all classes I focus on mechanisms to help articulate and develop original thinking, form community, and practice pleasure in the grace of language. The University of California, Berkeley, granted my PhD in American Urban Poetics and MA in Urban Social Geography. Mills College awarded my MFA in English and Creative Writing. My BFA from York University focused on Creative Writing. With experience in traditional, remote, and hybrid teaching I can teach writing, reading, social sciences, humanities, history, philosophy, art, economics, ethics, business and technical writing, speech, pedagogy, and theory. As a professional writer and editor I bring lived understanding to the writing class.
My awareness of and sensitivity to a multicultural population was gleaned through lived transnational experience, training in what is now UC Berkeley’s Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies Program, and over twelve years of teaching gender and social justice themed multicultural literature writing courses in Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) and Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI). Through the pandemic I worked with Cinnamon Girl, an organization that helps young women of color develop language skills in support of their educations. There I developed and taught the Memoir to College Workshop series that guides participants to create a reservoir of narratives for successful college and fellowship applications. These increase applications’ success and ease their creation.
I have worked with teenagers for decades. In 2004 my first teacher-of-record position was working with gifted/talented teens through Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Most of my teaching has been first year university students, just a few months out of high school. Students’ narrative evaluations indicate that consultations, peer editing, peer activities, free-writes, group led discussions, course texts, reading journals, and targeted syntax support were particularly useful for them. A short video that offers a sense of my teaching presence is here. Most recently I have been working with a cohort at San José State University to engage counter-storytelling as a form of building social justice. This spring I hope to present at UC Merced’s “Trauma-Informed Teaching Symposium: Toward a Practice and Pedagogy of Care.”
MAIN UNIVERSITY TEACHING
California State University, San José, 2022-present
Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature
University of California, Berkeley, 2019-2020
Lecturer in the College Writing Programs and Fall Program for Freshman
Holy Names University, Oakland, 2014-2019
The Writer’s Craft Director, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor
University of California, Merced, 2008-2014
Lecturer in the Merritt Writing Program
University of Windsor, 2005-2006
Visiting Writing Program Director
California State University, Maritime, 2004-2005 and 2007-2008
Lecturer in Culture and Communication
In addition to my main teaching positions I taught developmental, transfer-level, and graduate classes at Berkeley City College, Merritt College, the College of Marin, Foothill College, Santa Clara University and Johns Hopkins University (CTY).
For a full list of classes taught go here.