Department: Communication and Humanities
Dept. Phone: (731) 425-2607
B.A., Lambuth University; M.A., University of Memphis; Ph.D., University of Memphis
I am a native of West Tennessee and was a first-generation college student. My mother took me to the library when I was a child, and I read every young adult novel in the local public library. When I finished with those books, I moved on to reading my encyclopedias and an old dictionary that my father kept around the house. When I asked what a word meant, he would point to the giant dictionary, rather than simply tell me himself the definition of the term. My parents never limited what I could read or told me that something was above my head. Knowledge was nothing to be feared. It was free to me, and I merely had to crack open the text. I believe it was those simple actions--along with my life-long love of all types of books--that inspired me to be an English professor.
I love my job, and because of this, I am rich. Students who take my courses will be challenged but supported; they'll be pushed to write well and to think critically. It is not uncommon for me to hear students say the following: "When I first signed up for this course, I was really not interested in the subject; now, I can honestly say that I love to read." I will teach them, but I will also send them on their own route to find the meaning of things they don't understand; in short, I'll point them toward that giant book in the corner.
Please feel free to read this article that I wrote for the Chronicle of Higher Education about first-generation college students. Not only does it provide more about my background, but also it highlights my teaching philosophy. I can teach anyone to write as long as he or she is ready to learn. Come to class curious and ready to work, and I will help you succeed.
Beyond my classroom duties, I am also the founder of the JSCC Women's History Month Celebration, which is held every March. I am the advisor for the JSCC Human Rights Club, the secretary for the Pinson Ruritan Club, and a Girl Scouts troop leader. In my free time I enjoy being outside, running or riding my bicycle, traveling, and having provocative conversations with interesting people. Authors who move me include Walt Whitman, John Irving, John Updike, Alice Munro, Eudora Welty, James Joyce, Anne Sexton, and Thomas Wolfe.