After graduating from GWU in 1995, I enrolled at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. My graduate work focused on the relationship between literature and composition, and my dissertation "Is Literature Language?" argued for a synthesis of literary study and the teaching of writing. In fall of 2001, I began my current position, assistant professor of English, at Penn State Berks, a college within the Penn State system. There, I teach courses in rhetoric and composition, professional writing, and American literature, and I direct the composition program. My research interests include writing pedagogy, writing program administration, and the history of composition studies, and my recent work has appeared in Computers and Composition, Writing Program Administration, and Composition Forum.
George Washington’s English Department provided an excellent foundation for this work; thanks to my undergraduate training, I was able to enter a Ph.D. program immediately upon completion of my B.A. I feel particularly fortunate that my undergraduate coursework offered both a rich foundation in historical periods/primary texts and theory-intensive courses that enabled me to keep pace with my graduate school peers.
When I look back on my undergraduate experience, I most appreciate my professors’ clear passion for their subject matter—which might explain why I took all of my electives in English! In many ways, I continue to look to my GW professors for teaching tips. Kim Moreland, with whom I took four courses, taught me to always ask my students for feedback. Gail Paster, who generously helped me with my personal statement for grad school, showed me the value of mentoring. Bob Combs took me on as a thesis advisee when others were skeptical about the value of writing on John Irving. Thanks to these teachers—and so many others—I became a perpetual student, making my life’s work one where I will always be reading, researching, and preparing for class.
Congratulations, Jeanne, from all of us in the English Department!