This interactive digital portfolio mirrors the content of my sixth-year tenure portfolio (2019). Printable, downloadable versions of all annual-review portfolios are available in the archived portfolios collection at the bottom of this page.

Introduction

Executive Summary

In this portfolio, I present my qualifications for tenure, documenting my contributions to Saint Leo University and its reputation, as well as the broader academic community. Notable highlights of those contributions include:

  • Teaching
    • Initiated student-generated textbook project
    • Earned reputation for effective feedback and genuine responses
    • Reduced personal online dfw rates to campus norms; reduced personal on-campus rates to zero in ay2018
    • Faculty observations document my leadership in managing discussions
    • Academic advising efforts adjusted to target retention and UE completion
    • Non-academic advising experience boosts Saint Leo’s reputation
  • Scholarship & Professional Development
    • Revised slu’s Academic Writing curriculum for 3 classes through 4 iterations responding to faculty feedback
    • Trained 47 Safe Zone Allies to support slu’s lgbtq+ students
    • 7 peer-reviewed book chapters in edited collections and 5 peer-reviewed articles
    • Articles and calls for papers published on Hybrid Pedagogy viewed over 9,500 times
    • 15 podcast episodes (downloaded over 19,000 times) interviewing prominent, progressive scholars
    • Used Twitter at conferences to generate over 321,000 views and over 5,600 interactions
    • One invited international conference keynote
    • Facilitated 7 national/international workshops
    • Facilitated 5 national/international week-long seminars
  • Service
    • Member of 5 university-wide committees
    • Completed 4 successful hiring committee assignments
    • Chaired Composition Committee across 5 years
    • Created slu’s first gay-straight alliance
    • Earned sgu’s Outstanding Club Advisor award

Statement of Values

Students at Saint Leo have come to expect a level of personalized attention and care from their faculty that I find rare in today’s higher education climate. Too often, schools emphasize systems over people, technology over teaching, and compliance over care. Students here benefit from a different approach—one that values them as individuals, making sure we are responsible stewards of the people in our care and supporting their personal development. That student support strengthens our community today and lays the foundation for tomorrow’s growth—one of the pillars of Saint Leo’s Renaissance 2021 plan.

According to our core value of Excellence, those of us who are the heart and soul of Saint Leo “work hard to ensure that our students develop the character, learn the skills, and assimilate the knowledge essential to become morally responsible leaders.” Through my advising and conferences with students on campus and online, I work to develop students’ characters, helping them improve their professionalism and self-confidence as they move toward and through the workforce. For our online students, I strive to enhance their digital character, as well, ensuring students improve their awareness of online communication styles and skills along with their critical-thinking skills. The vast majority of the courses I teach at Saint Leo focus on skills that help students navigate thinking and writing, both in academia and in their careers. As noted in the letter from \nameref{rec:mclargin}, my rhetoric-focused approach to writing courses gives students essential knowledge that helps them succeed no matter where they go. The revised composition curriculum I designed (see \nameref{sub:comp-curriculum-proposal}, page~\pageref{sub:comp-curriculum-proposal}) directly supports developing students’ excellence—on campus and online, in college and after graduation.

In order to live up to our potentials, all members of the Saint Leo community must “pledge to be honest, just, and consistent in word and deed.” I work to develop integrity in students by giving them as much agency over their learning as possible, showing the value of conscientious consistency in expectations and values. Students set challenging goals for each course, establish fair assessment criteria for each other, and hold one another accountable for their actions. For my part, I ensure consistency in my work by constantly engaging the academic community in honest conversations about the value of student-centered pedagogy. As highlighted in letters from Siemens and Stommel, the pedagogy-centric seminars I facilitate internationally (such as dhsi in British Columbia and dpl in Virginia and Ontario), as well as my work as Director of the journal Hybrid Pedagogy, allow me to engage a broad audience of educators from across the disciplines in an ongoing discussion of Critical Digital Pedagogy. I rely on my integrity to make higher education more just by respecting students and giving them greater opportunity to develop on their own terms.

Just as I value students as agents of their own learning, I also value resources available to Saint Leo. From a frugal use of financial resources, stretching my pdf so far that it covers multiple conferences each year, to a responsible use of human resources, ensuring my colleagues contribute to the ongoing development of our composition programs, I make use of our resources without exploiting them. Letters from Kwasny and McLargin address how I wisely and fairly manage resources, including people. I have seen the need for such responsibility more and more clearly as I’ve worked to develop Prism, our school’s first-ever gay-straight alliance. Getting such an organization off the ground with limited personnel and funding became a lesson in responsible stewardship that has shown me what the people of Saint Leo can do when we align toward a common goal.

Helping with the creation and development of Prism has been one of the most rewarding challenges of my time so far here at Saint Leo. More than anything else I have done, this organization helps “foster a spirit of belonging, unity, and interdependence based on mutual trust and respect to create socially responsible environments that challenge all of us to listen, to learn, to change, and to serve.” The club’s mere existence provides visibility for the underrepresented lgbtq+ community of Saint Leo and lets current and prospective students know they too can enjoy a sense of belonging at our institution. Navigating the intersections of identity and faith has been challenging and rewarding, and Ken Posner’s letter speaks to the importance and benefit of this work. Students in the lgbtq+ community often hesitate to attend a religious school; Prism’s presence at Open House events help show these students they will be welcome and helps support our enrollment efforts. The club’s meetings, then, provide a sense of unity and belonging for students who often can feel isolated, especially at religious institutions, thereby aiding student-retention efforts. Supporting and granting visibility to a marginalized population provides needed and welcome change that strengthens the entire community at our school.

While the role of an educator focuses on building students’ knowledge and skills almost by default, we at slu are called to attend to “the development of every person’s mind, spirit, and body for a balanced life.” Teaching composition courses built around rhetoric and designed to give students skills applicable beyond the classroom and the workforce gives me a unique opportunity: I can show students that the material they learn in my classes applies to all aspects of their lives, making the academic material a thread that brings together their mind, spirit, and body. The letters from McLargin and Aiken address the value my courses provide. Students in my foundations courses frequently use team-building experiences in sports as examples for the application of writing concepts. Students in my upper-level courses use their classwork as opportunities to build their professional identities and improve their quality of life. By focusing on lasting benefits outside the classroom, I help ensure the continued, practical personal development of each student, both online and on campus.

Perhaps no core value—indeed no singular concept—encapsulates my priority in teaching, scholarship, and service alike so much as respect. My classes show respect for students from the outset by valuing their life experience (particularly in online classes) and allowing them to determine the shape of the course (particularly in on-campus classes). The journal I direct teaches and enacts critical pedagogy, helping authors and educators take greater control of their own learning by respecting their values and priorities. As mentioned above, my work with Prism has allowed me to show how the lgbtq+ and religious communities at Saint Leo can respect one another by relying “on the unity and diversity of our people, on the free exchange of ideas, and on learning, living, and working harmoniously.” However, my commitment to respect can best be seen in how I serve the Saint Leo community. Having served on several committees at the departmental, school, and university levels and having led one committee for several years, my greatest contributions have been in valuing the work of each member of a committee and finding common ground between differing opinion. As emphasized in letters from Caldwell, Decius, Aiken, and McLargin, my ability to be diplomatic and articulate has helped several committees move forward when it felt that internal disputes might bring progress to a halt. I believe my greatest contribution to slu is a consistent show of respect for our faculty, our staff, and our students—respect I will continue to use to further strengthen the Saint Leo community.

Interactive/Online Version

Paper/Download Version

Letters of Recommendation

In support of my application for tenure, I obtained letters of recommendation from the following sources:

  • Heather Parker, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Chantelle MacPhee, Chair, Department of Language Studies & the Arts
  • Elisabeth Aiken, Co-Chair, Department of Liberal Studies & Experiential Learning
  • Ray Siemens, Distinguished Professor, University of Victoria
  • Jesse Stommel, Digital Learning Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Digital Studies, University of Mary Washington
  • Ken Posner, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs
  • Karen Hannel, Co-Chair, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and Experiential Learning
  • Andrew Gold, Associate Professor of Management and President of University Senate
  • Karen Kwasny, Assistant Professor of English and former director of Oceana Center
  • Pam Decius, Associate Chair, Department of Language Studies & the Arts
  • Marissa McLargin, Professional-Writing Instructor, Department of Language Studies & the Arts

Teaching

Scholarship & Professional Development

Institutional & Disciplinary Service

Archived Portfolios

Annual portfolios provide opportunity for reflection, assessment, and planning. Though they can be a chore to assemble and document, my portfolios have proved to be useful tools that prompt me to re-evaluate my trajectory and push myself to improve and develop. The portfolios listed below were each intended for print, so they are available as PDF downloads suitable for on-screen reading.

  • 2019
    Sixth-Year Tenure Portfolio
    As my 2018 portfolio was unsuccessful in my effort to obtain tenure, I had the opportunity to apply again in my sixth year. This portfolio documents my continued progress at Saint Leo, including successes with overhauling the composition curriculum and rolling out Safe Zone Ally training on campus.

    Two digital versions of this portfolio are available:

    1. Narrative-Only Tenure Portfolio (4 MB; 72 pages)
    2. Complete Tenure Portfolio with all supporting documentation (109 MB; 570 pages)

  • 2018
    Fifth-Year Tenure Portfolio
    The culmination of four years of working with Saint Leo University, this document makes the case that I’m a good fit—and a good investment—for the school. I frame my argument in terms of the school’s Core Values, and I follow college guidelines by structuring my scholarship in terms of the Boyer Model. Two digital versions of this portfolio are available:

    1. Narrative-Only Tenure Portfolio (2 MB; 48 pages)
    2. Complete Tenure Portfolio with all supporting documentation (85 MB; 578 pages)

  • 2017
    Third-Year Portfolio
    In this document, I reflect on my changing perspectives through work in various ongoing committees, teaching in various disciplines, and meeting constituents from across the university. My third year functions as a distinctly mid-process year, rather than any sort of end point unto itself. Download my 2017 Portfolio (8 MB).
  • 2016
    Second-Year Portfolio
    In this portfolio, I lament the loss of my earlier drive toward experimentation and here focus on the concept of involvement as it applies to my professional work. Download my 2016 Portfolio (7 MB).
  • 2015
    First-Year Portfolio
    Used for my first annual performance evaluation, this portfolio emphasizes the experimental and enlightening nature of my freshman year as Assistant Professor of English at Saint Leo University. Download my 2015 Portfolio (7 MB).
  • 2014
    Graduate Student Teaching Portfolio
    As my first-ever teaching portfolio, this document’s purpose was to convince readers I was employable as a faculty member at a teaching institution. Includes teaching philosophy and methodology as introduction. Download my 2014 Teaching Portfolio (9 MB).
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