I’m an academic. That’s easy. It gets more complicated from there. My research focuses on writing, literacies, and learning in formal and informal environments, and it draws on interdisciplinary traditions in learning sciences, education, composition, new literacies, and anthropology.
Much of my writing describes and theorizes adolescents’ literacies in different contexts (school, extracurricular, online). Increasingly, lately, I’ve been working with secondary and college teachers to learn about and design for teaching writing across adolescence. Across these contexts, I am especially interested in how people work together to create, maintain, and contribute to learning spaces. My work on affinity spaces with Jayne Lammers and Jen Scott Curwood takes up these questions most strongly.
I also enjoy the challenge of developing research methods to represent what happens in complex social arenas like affinity spaces. Writing and learning are, after all, expansive and messy — and that’s interesting. My research methods book, Conducting Qualitative Research of Learning in Online Spaces, co-authored with Hannah Gerber, Sandra Abrams, and Jen Scott Curwood, explores these ideas. If you would like to learn more about studying digital media and learning, check it out! And then let me know what you think.
Currently, I am an assistant professor in the English department at the University of New Hampshire, where I direct the English Teaching program. I teach courses on English teaching methods, digital literacies, and research methods. Previously, I have worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (with the Scholar online collaborative writing project), a lecturer and graduate research assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (with the Games, Learning, and Society team and the Department of Educational Psychology), and as a middle and high school classroom teacher.