Smiling person with trim beard wearing green shirt in front of brick wall

Christopher R. Friend

I’m a digital pedagogue and a compositionist. In other words, I’m a writing teacher (not a have-written teacher) who looks at how writing and teaching work in digital and physical spaces. For over a dozen years, I’ve created supportive, collaborative classes both online and on-ground for learners aged eleven to seventy. My experiences have taught me that more than anything, we all need opportunity if we are to learn. I work to create those opportunities every day.

Writing classes should provide opportunities to listen, consider, practice, and experiment…and often to fail, get up, dust ourselves off, and try again. Writing (like teaching) involves constant reflection and revision. The classes I build place revision at the heart of their design and accessibility as their goal — all learners should feel that effective writing is within their reach.

Academic Positions

  • Present2014

    Assistant Professor of English

    Saint Leo University

  • 20142012

    Graduate Teaching Associate

    University of Central Florida

  • 20112009

    English Teacher

    Seminole County Virtual School

  • 20092000

    English Teacher

    Oviedo High School

Education & Training

  • Ph.D. 2014

    Ph.D. in Texts & Technology

    University of Central Florida

  • M.Ed. 2006

    Master of Education — Curriculum & Instruction

    University of Central Florida

  • B.A. 2000

    Bachelor of Arts in English — Creative Writing

    University of Central Florida

Making Scholarship Accessible

Research on teaching and learning — or writing and rhetoric, or educational technology — often baffles students and newcomers alike, thanks to how obscure the writing can be. But these conversations define and shape the way we interact with each other, either in person or at a distance. These conversations need more voices and greater participation, particularly by people who have the most to gain but are often given the least access.

My work — through my courses, my research, and my editorial efforts — addresses that need by promoting and strengthening the voices of the oppressed and bringing conversations about teaching to those doing the learning. My classes consider what it means to teach; my research examines how students and teachers interact; my editorial work challenges how journals function and distribute the work of their authors.

I work to make teaching and learning about writing more accessible.

Making Composition Meaningful

I teach the classes everyone has to take: first-year composition in post-secondary and freshman English in high school. Students often feel forced to take these classes, and it takes work to show their relevance and usefulness. Faculty often feel forced to teach these classes, and it takes work to show their resonance and influence. Most of the time, everyone involved in a composition class treats it like something only to be endured.

But that misses the point … and the opportunity inherent in these classes. Writing lets us share ideas, collaborate, debate, and progress. Classes devoted to writing give learners a chance to explore how they think, interact, argue, and grow. Writing classes are the most personal courses anyone will take or teach. They are the most humanist by nature, and we must work to make them the most humane.

My classes show that composition connects us not only with our audience but also with our own thinking.

Honors, Awards, & Grants

  • 2019
    Student Government Union’s Outstanding Club Advisor
    Selected for my work with Prism, Saint Leo’s gay-straight alliance.
  • 2019
    Student Government Union’s Outstanding Student Oranization
    Awarded to Prism, Saint Leo’s gay-straight alliance, for our work establishing the student group against the odds in a religious school, for creating Safe Zone training to support our LGBTQ+ community, and for hosting events open to the entire school.
  • 2015
    QEP Faculty Fellow
  • 2014
    UCF CAH Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching Award
    This award recognizes excellence in teaching by Graduate Teaching Associates who have independent teaching responsibilities. It focuses on the quality of the student’s teaching activities and the academic contributions to those activities.
  • 2013
    CCCC Professional Equity Project Grant
    Provided funding for my attendance at the national conference for writing studies.
  • 2013
    WPA-GO CCCC Travel Grant

    These awards are given to papers that make a significant contribution to the WPA profession and to writing programs and classrooms. They are determined by readers’ scores as demonstrating attention to the following criteria listed on the CFP:

    • The applicant’s investment in writing program administration
    • How the applicant’s participation will impact his or her scholarly & professional development
    • How the applicant’s presentation/facilitation contributes to the field of writing program administration

  • 2012
    UCF DWR Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching Award
    This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the students teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.
  • 2009
    UCF Trustees Doctoral Fellow
    The University of Central Florida offers Trustees Doctoral Fellowships to superior graduate students who are newly enrolling at UCF in one of its doctoral programs or tracks. These awards provide multi-year support to the most quali ed applicants to the institution.
  • 2004–05
    Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers