Coming to BGSU from all over the country and beyond, students in the Rhetoric & Writing program are a diverse group. Their interests, research and otherwise, are equally diverse, revealed as much by the short biographies below as by their e-portfolios. The latter of these are an important part of all Rhetoric & Writing students' professional development.
After (mostly) raising two amazing kids and spending roughly a decade teaching high school English in Indiana, Brandie discovered that she was, in fact, the subject of a famous Rolling Stones song: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” While completing her MA in English and a Master’s Certificate in the Teaching of Writing at IUPUI, she realized that she wanted to be doing more research, writing, publishing, and presenting than her schedule as a secondary teacher would allow. In a strange midlife crisis, she moved her amazing and supportive husband and children twice so that she can focus on scholarly pursuits, including preservice English teacher preparation in the teaching of writing, devalued Englishes, and discovery learning in writing classrooms. Now surrounded by amazing scholars who teach her how to be a better academic, researcher, thinker, and person every day, she knows for certain that “if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”
Jonathan Brownlee received a BA in Philosophy and Communications from Bethel College and a MA in Liberal Studies, with concentrations in English and philosophy, from Indiana University (Fort Wayne). His current academic interests are cultural rhetoric, rhetorical history, writing theory, and the connection between rhetoric and philosophy. Outside of his academic studies, Jonathan is a writer, maker, and consumer of all things political.
Triauna is from North Texas and earned a BA in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Texas Pan American in 2008 and minored in English and Psychology. She returned to school to earn a MA in English Literature and Cultural Studies, followed by a second MA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on rhetoric and communication. In addition, Triauna has taught first-year composition courses at UTRGV and adapted a class into a special topics course about technology’s effect on rhetoric and communication. Her research focuses on rhetoric’s role in ethnomusicology, cultural studies, digital communication, politics, race relations, and identity. In her free time, Triauna enjoys writing fanfiction, engaging in conversations about the existential and ontology, and watching the NFL.
From the Buckeye State, Shelly is a proud Falcon as she earned her BA in Middle Childhood Education with specialties in ELA, reading, and social studies and her MA in Curriculum and Teaching both from Bowling Green State University. Shelly taught 7th grade English for six years and is once again enjoying her time in academia.
Danielle Donelson is a native of southwestern New York state. She completed her BA from Marietta College and earned her MA in English literature with a certificate in the teaching of writing from the University of Toledo. For five years she taught English language and literature classes at Satya Wacana Christian University in Central Java, Indonesia. Her research interests include decolonial pedagogy and indigenous epistemologies, ELL teaching instruction methods, contemporary rhetorical theories, cultural differences in teaching critical thinking to TESOL students.
Ashley Doonan completed both her B.A. and M.A. in English Literature with a concentration in Developmental Psychology from the University of New Hampshire. Her research interests include rhetoric of mental health, postcolonial studies, feminist rhetorics, and disability studies. Ashley’s Master’s thesis was an interdisciplinary examination of vicarious trauma in the university classroom, a topic that she also presented at the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCCs). She enjoys coffee, exploring new places, Virginia Woolf, sunflowers, Ernest Hemingway, and autumn weather.
Renee Ann Drouin
Renee Ann Drouin, originally from Stafford Springs, Connecticut, received her BA in English with minors in writing and history from Eastern Connecticut State University and her MA in English with a focus in Writing Studies from Rutgers University-Camden. Renee’s research interests include writing center pedagogy, feminist rhetoric, digital rhetoric, and video game studies. Her Master’s thesis applied domestic and feminist rhetoric to deconstruct immortal creatures in the popular gaming series Resident Evil. Outside of academia, she’s busy skyping her sister Erin, crying over the Chicago Blackhawks, and looking at pictures of puppies.
Lauren is a Cleveland, Ohio, native who obtained her BA in English at Walsh University and her MA in English with a concentration in Applied Linguistics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Prior to starting her doctoral studies at BGSU, Lauren was an instructor at Ivy Tech Community College.. Her previous college teaching includes predominantly First Year Writing, but also Exposition & Persuasion, Research & Writing, Precollege English, and Information Literacy. Her scholarly areas of interest are design, multiliteracies, and multimodal writing as well as first year writing and writing program administration. She spends her spare time planning vacations to Disney to visit the Haunted Mansion or kayaking Lake Erie. Her favorite activity is signing up for 5k, 10k, and obstacle races that have cool t-shirts.
Susan E. Howard is an Assistant Professor at Ivy Tech Community College in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She received her BS degree in Print Journalism from Syracuse University and her MA in Creative Writing/Fiction from Johns Hopkins University. Howard is also an award winning journalist who has worked for newspapers ranging from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (where she was that newspaper’s first black female sportswriter) and Long Island Newsday. A self-acknowledged “Potterhead,” Howard has presented papers on the Harry Potter series at various conferences in the United States and England. Her chapter on the Harry Potter series as a postcolonial slave narrative appears in Harry Potter’s World Wide Influence. Her current interests are related to the impact of race on rhetoric.
Darlene Johnston earned her BA from Hanover College with a double major in English and Political Science. She earned her MA in English with a concentration on Composition and Rhetoric and American Literature from Indiana University (IPFW) and her MA in TESOL from the University of Findlay. Darlene has taught both L1 and L2 writing courses along with other ESL courses and the occasional literature courses as an adjunct at Ohio Northern University, The University of Findlay, Colorado Technical University, and Ivy Tech Community College. She is currently the Legal English Facilitator for the LEVAS program at Ohio Northern University. She lives in Ada with her husband Bill, daughter Daphne, and 2 dogs.
Having earned his BA (English) MEd (Teaching & Learning) at The Ohio State University, Adam worked as a high school English teacher before pursuing his MA in Composition and Rhetoric at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Adam's research interests include the articulation and negotiatiion of class-based cultural rhetorics within and among members of families, the rheotrical practices of web-based Adult Fans of LEGO (AFOL) communities, composition historiography, and writing program administration. He has presented at the Conference on College Composition and Communication as well as the Council of Writing Program Administrators' Conference. Adam's spare time is divided between gaming, socializing, and watching popular television shows.
Kristin LaFollette received her BA in English literature with a minor in creative writing and MA in English with a concentration in creative writing from Indiana University South Bend. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies at Bowling Green State University, Kristin taught first-year writing at IU South Bend and composition, literature, technical writing, and art courses at Indiana Institute of Technology. She has had her poetry and artwork featured in West Trade Review, Poetry Quarterly, and Plath Profiles: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Sylvia Plath Studies, among others. In addition to creative writing and art, her other interests include feminist theory, queer theory, and narrative/storytelling. Kristin enjoys movies, traveling, and reading Sylvia Plath, Stephen King, and JD Salinger. She lives in Toledo with her husband, Justin.
A Northwest Ohio native, Ran graduated from Tinora High School and, after military service, from The Defiance College, majoring in English and Secondary Education. He holds a Ph.D. in English and a J.D., has practiced law as a litigation and education-law attorney for many years, and has taught college-level English for over two decades. In his view, the ideal classroom is an active, student-centered community of learners and a democratic center of inquiry that fosters curiosity, openness, engagement, creativity, persistence, responsibility, flexibility, and metacognition. A few of his non-academic pursuits include rescuing German Shepherds, gardening, coaching, wandering, and wondering.
Kelly earned her MA in English and her BA in English with journalism minor at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. Her experience as a Teaching Assistant led her to her interest in education and the discipline of rhetoric and writing. Kelly's research interests include the intersections of embodied rhetorics/pedagogies, writing program administration, teacher research, and first-year composition.
Stephen Ohene-Larbi comes from Ghana formally known as Gold Coast. He obtained his bachelor’s degree at the University of Toledo majoring in Communication and proceeded to have his first and second master’s degrees also from the University of Toledo-Masters of Public Administration (MPA), and English (MA) with a concentration in ESL. He had the opportunity to work with AmeriCorps-United Way of Greater Toledo, working as a graduation coach mentoring high school students who were at risks of graduation from high school. Stephen also had the opportunity to do what he enjoys doing-“Teaching at the American Language Institute” at the University of Toledo. He taught different levels of composition writing at the same university. His area of research is in ESL composition writing and is looking at the integration of multimodality, strategies and other areas that can help students to achieve fluency in writing and speaking as well. He is a soccer fan and plays on a regular basis with friends to keep the passion going.
Bailey Poland earned her BA in Creative Writing from Ohio University and MA in Rhetoric and Writing from the University of Findlay. She spent several years working as a marketing and communications analyst for a global human resources corporation. While working on her MA, she wrote Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online, which deals with the online harassment and abuse of women. Her interests lie at the intersections of technofeminism and feminist and cultural rhetorics. In her spare time, she enjoys coffee, science fiction and fantasy, and long walks in the woods.
Stephen is from Syracuse, NY and received his BA in rhetoric and composition from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He attended Newcastle University in England and there received his MA in creative writing. He spent a year working for the Kids First initiative of Americorps as a family planning health educator, where he taught students subjects that ranged from birth control, anatomy, goal-setting, communication and self-esteem. His scholarly interests focus on rhetoric, popular culture and gender studies. He has a big love for any and all dogs and spends his time running, reading, or at the shooting range with his bow and arrow.
Joseph Robertshaw holds a BA in English earned at the University of Maryland University College. He has interest in the writing of fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy Fiction. He earned an M.S. in Education (Curriculum & Instruction) and an M.A. in English both at Youngstown State University(YSU). While attending YSU the selection of interests both widened and deepened to include pursuits such as Literature of the Working Class and Young Adult Literature through the lens of the English Festival held each year at YSU. During that time he also collected masters level certificates, one in TESOL and another in the Teaching of Writing. Among Mr. Robertshaw’s current research interests are: The rhetorics of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Dystopian Fictions, Ideology and Hegemony, Critical Theory, Composition Pedagogy, Technical Writing, and Labor Issues within the Academy.
Marshall Saenz earned his M.F.A in Creative Writing from The University of Texas-Pan American and his B.S. in Geology from Texas A M University-Kingsville. During his undergraduate studies, he conducted research with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers using a wide range of technologies. While at The University of Texas-Pan American, he served as a Title V graduate writing tutor earning a CRLA Master Level certification. His duties included assisting students, staff, and faculty with their writing, giving presentations, participating as a writing fellow, and assisting in the development of Web 2.0 tutoring operations. Currently, he is working towards a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Writing with an interest in digital literacies, writing across the curriculum, and videogame theory. In his spare time, Marshall enjoys reading, gaming, and writing short fiction.
Lauren earned a BA in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from The University of Findlay (2011). She returned to The University of Findlay to obtain an MA in Rhetoric and Writing (2015). Lauren’s research interests include online writing instruction, writing technologies, feminist rhetoric, and technical writing. At UF she completed a thesis that investigated the methods first-year writing instructors employ in online course environments versus face-to-face classrooms.
Tammie is a first year graduate student in the Rhetoric and Writing program. She earned both her BA in German and her MA in TESOL at Cleveland State University. Prior to becoming an ESL instructor, English language examiner and trainer, Tammie taught EFL in Germany for 15 years. Her research interests include: writing assessment, rhetoric and composition, literacy studies, and second language acquisition.
Brian grew up in beautiful southwest Michigan and earned his MA in English at Andrews University. Just weeks later, he moved to South Korea, where he taught English as a second language for five years. In 2016, he returned to the US and Andrews University as an adjunct. His work in helping the university to update an online writing course inspired him to seek a PhD in rhetoric and composition. Brian's current academic interests include online writing instruction, writing program administration, and assessment. In his spare time, Brian enjoys playing board games (especially games with a strong narrative element), reading (especially fantasy and comic books), playing instruments (especially bass guitar), and baking (especially cupcakes).
Growing up in a Cairene household that values language learning, Soha realized her passion for the English language at a very young age. She pursued her BA in English with a minor in German in her homeland and spent two years teaching a variety of EFL courses at a private university. Her first MA was at Oklahoma State University where she studied TESL and Linguistics. She, then, complemented her MA degree with another in Composition and Rhetoric at Eastern Illinois University. Her interest centers around maintaining a conversation between the TESOL and composition fields. For her dissertation, she is conducting a mixed-method study to bridge the gap between International Teaching Assistants' needs in a training program on one hand and their students' and WPAs' expectations on the other. Her goal is to discover heuristics for effective ITA training programs, particularly at four-year colleges.
Lena Ziegler is a native of Northeast Pennsylvania. She received her BA in Professional Writing from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in 2009 and spent five years meandering into adulthood while traveling, working, writing, and growing. In 2014 she moved to Tennessee to complete a year of national service with Americorps Vista focusing on hunger and homelessness in higher education settings. In summer 2017 she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Kentucky University with a dual concentration in fiction and creative nonfiction. She is the co-founder and co-editor of the literary journal The Hunger and her creative work has appeared in Red Earth Review, Miracle Monocle, Harpoon Review, Breathe Free Press, The Fem, and others. Her research interests include social justice pedagogy, political discourse, and sexuality and gender studies, with a current focus on the rhetoric of sex and consent. Beyond teaching and writing, she is passionate about animals, social justice, personal empowerment, language play and exploration, playing ukulele badly, and Bob Dylan.