My interest in curriculum design fuels my institutional service. I determine my committee participation based on my ability to effect improvement in our course design, implementation, and pedagogy.

  • present2015

    Composition Committee (chair)

    This committee is working to modernize Saint Leo’s composition classes, developing students into rhetorically flexible writers in a variety of media and settings. We’re taking the first steps toward building a full writing program.

  • present2019

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee (member)

    This institution-wide committee meets to identify and address issues of access and lay the groundwork for a future Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

  • present2017

    Prism gay-straight alliance (founding faculty advisor)

    This organization works to extend Benedictine hospitality to the lgbtq+ members of the Saint Leo community.

  • 2019 

    Criminal Justice Student of the Year committee (external member)

    This committee was responsible for reviewing applications and selecting the award winner.

  • 2019–222015–16

    Faculty Senate Technology Committee (member)

    We work to identify and address technology-related needs and opportunities across the institution.

  • 20182017

    English major APR committee (member)

    This committee designed the current English major and its component courses. I was a member during the initial phase, in which we defined the scope and direction of the major.

  • 20182014

    Hiring Committees (member)

    I have participated in several hiring committees in my time at Saint Leo, resulting in successful selections of the following positions:

    • Instructor of English — General (2)
    • Assistant Professor of Psychology
    • Instructor of English — Professional Writing
    • Assistant Professor of Theatre
    • Department Chair, Language Studies and the Arts

  • 20162015

    Content Initiative Workgroup (member)

    This workgroup met to derive means of implementing Open Educational Resources (oers) on campus. The group completed its work by creating a proposal for faculty incentives for adopting oers and justifications for how oers support the institution’s core values.

  • 20162015

    Arts & Sciences Strategic Goals: Innovation Committee (secretary)

    I maintain communication and collaboration among the members. We are defining what it means to be innovative Arts & Sciences programs at a liberal-arts university.

  • 20162015

    QEP Faculty Fellows (member)

    This committee explores critical thinking and core values as components of good decision making — skills we want to develop in our students. These elements will inform the work done by the composition committee.

Details of my Service Praxis

Details appear in the narrative that follows, but highlights of my service record include:

  • Service to the University
    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee member
    • Two-time Senate Technology Committee member
    • QEP Faculty Fellow
    • Content initiative workgroup member
    • Lunch & Learn session facilitator
    • ePortfolio committee member
  • Service to the Colleges
    • CAS: Successful department chair hiring committee member
    • CESS: Successful sociology hiring committee member
    • CAS: Dean’s oer committee
    • CESS: Criminal Justice Student of the Year committee member
    • CAS: Human Library participant
  • Service to the Department
    • Composition Committee chair (5 years running)
    • APR committee member
    • Successful professional-writing hiring committee member
    • Successful theatre hiring committee member
  • Service to the Students
    • Co-Founder and Faculty advisor, Prism gay-straight alliance
      • Led student trip to Florida Collegiate Pride Coalition to build networks and develop student leadership
      • Earned sgu’s Outstanding Student Organization award, 2018–19
      • Earned sgu’s Outstanding Club Advisor award, 2018–19
    • Greek summit presenter
    • CAB chaperone

In last year’s tenure portfolio, I listed the following short- and medium-term goals for my service, which I’m pleased to say have each been accomplished in the intervening year:

  • Host Prism movie night with Student Activities Showed Love, Simon in scc boardrooms on Valentine’s Day with approx. 25 students attending
  • Host Prism guest speaker Welcomed local author David Berger to campus, who shared his experience publishing books with lgbtq+ characters
  • Attend fcpc in March Brought six students to conference, introducing student-leaders to state-wide community of gsas
  • Join more committees related to technology, pedagogy, and hiring Reprised my appointment to the University Senate Technology Advisory Committee, joined a wac tlc, and joined the institution-wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee

Details of these recent accomplishments can be found later in this section, after a review of my service history here at Saint Leo.

In the letters of recommendation from Marissa McLargin, Lis Aiken, and Barbara Caldwell, my ability to find diplomatic common ground and reach out to institutions to find best practices received prominent attention. Those two strengths have driven my institutional service more than anything else, helping me find connections between differing perspectives and build bridges between departments. My department-level committee work—notably including forming and leading a Composition Committee to host conversations about the nature and future of our Academic Writing courses across a five-year span—has faced significant hurdles of disagreeing faculty, making progress and consensus-building formidable challenges. Those challenges, however, also make the small victories of incremental progress more rewarding than they normally would be. Just this semester, my extensive work on the composition-curriculum revision has paid off, and my proposal received approval from my department and the ueac. My ability to mediate disagreements has made me a valuable member of contentious committees over the years, from Composition to time on the English apr committee, to an exhaustive (and exhausting!) search committee for the Language Studies & the Arts department chair.

In addition to my consistent role as a mediator, I have earned a reputation within my department for being “the tech guy,” providing Skype calls for remote meetings and video recording/distribution services for teaching demonstrations of potential hires. My facility with technology has simplified the process of communication throughout the department. That comfort with technology also makes me a good fit for the University Senate Technology Committee, an assignment I have happily taken on a second time this year.

Previously, I also involved myself with the Content Initiative Workgroup, led by Steve Rheinschmidt and tasked with finding ways to implement Open Educational Resources (oers) in our classes. My experience there made me a good fit for the newly created oer committee, convened by Heather Parker. Additionally, I participated in the ePortfolio committee, led by Trish Parrish, that ultimately decided from the available options that Chalk and Wire best met the institution’s immediate need for a portfolio-management system. That committee in particular taught me a lesson—specifically, that what the school operationally needs at a given time might be fundamentally opposed to what I believe is best for students. On a more local level, I contributed to initial stages of the English apr conversation, helping define the needs and expectations of each of the three specializations in the English B.A. program. And near the start of my time at Saint Leo, I was recruited onto the qep Faculty Fellows and served a one-year term on that team, which shared readings and discussions aimed at better implementing a specific model of critical thinking in classes across the university. Each of these committee appointments has enhanced my perspective of how Saint Leo serves its students—and how we can continue to improve in that regard.

On the subject of benefit to the university, my Composition Committee, which has met in various forms for the past five years, has served to engage the wider Saint Leo community in conversations about what we need (and can reasonably expect) from our Academic Writing courses. From guiding group readings of relevant literature to gathering committee research on the programs of comparative and aspirational model institutions, to informal chats with representatives from a variety of departments and locations across the institution, my time with this committee has helped build a shared understanding of what is possible and practical in a revised composition curriculum. This task has on several occasions proved challenging due to its enormous scope and broad impact, combined with my tenuous position as the only dedicated rhetoric/composition faculty member in the department—a position that has led to extended and heated controversy with established components of our English program. However, the challenges presented by this project helped shape my curriculum designs into a version that gained the support of the full department in mid-September 2019, earned enthusiastic support from the ueac committee members in late September, and is expected to obtain official, voted ueac approval in late October and Curriculum Committee approval in December 2019. This project, now on its fourth iteration after five years of work, is one I look forward to seeing through to its implementation and future development. My work leading this committee is far from complete; we will now shift our attention to supporting our teaching faculty and bringing the benefits of our new approach to the consciousness of the full institution.

To be sure, my service to the university does not end with committee work. I have also contributed to John David Harding’s “Human Library” project, the January 2019 Faculty Development Day, various cab student trips, and Student Activities’ 2018 Greek Summit, where I presented a full-house session on social media use to boost marginalized voices. Each of these modest projects provides an additional opportunity for me to bring my passions and experience to the students of our institution, sharing my expertise outside the confines of a classroom.

I would argue, however, that the most important service I have provided to Saint Leo is perhaps the most unassuming—the creation of Prism, our gay-straight alliance. While this example of my service at first glance benefits a limited number of students, the impact of having such an organization visible at our institution enacts the Benedictine value of hospitality by showing students in the lgbtq+ community that they are welcome as they are at our institution. The process of forming this club started because a prospective student emailed me before joining our school to ensure our campus was accepting of the lgbtq+ community. I asked a similar question of a colleague before accepting my job offer to work here. That student and I know first-hand how important it can be to openly acknowledge and welcome members of a marginalized community, and we know that can be a contentious matter for religious institutions. Working through countless meetings, dozens of approvals, and numerous pitches and proposals (all referenced in Karen Hannel’s letter of recommendation on page (??)), Prism gained sab and sgu recognition. In Spring 2019, Prism received the sgu Outstanding Student Organization award for promoting “a more inclusive, supportive, and hospitable campus to the members of the lgbtq+ community and their allies. Furthermore, I received the sgu Outstanding Club Advisor award as “a shining example of commitment, dedication, and perseverance.”

Since its inception, Prism has grown to host a full complement of student-leaders, and in March 2019, I took that executive board to the Florida Collegiate Pride Coalition to give our students an opportunity to network with other similar organizations at other schools across the state. At that conference, Saint Leo brought the third-largest contingent of students from across the state, following only unf, the host institution, and ucf, which has a $45,000 annual budget for their lgbt resource center. Our strong presence at that conference, along with a talk I gave about navigating the creation of a gsa at a religious school, earned Saint Leo significant recognition within the community of student-led gsas, and the club’s officers intend to return to the conference in 2020.

Separately from the Safe Zone Ally program discussed in Scholarship of Teaching, Prism club meetings provide students with a space to openly discuss issues of identity and sexuality without fear of reprisal, judgment, ostracism, or hostility. Members of Prism have gathered together for a variety of on-campus and local events, establishing a sense of community and working toward our mission of “extending Benedictine hospitality to the lgbtq+ community at Saint Leo” and beyond. In October 2018, Prism partnered with Arts & Sciences to host a guest speaker, local author David Berger, who writes fiction with mythological themes and lgbtq+ characters. And on Valentine’s Day 2019, Prism hosted a movie night in the scc, showing Love, Simon, a romantic comedy with an lgbtq+ lead character. Prism partnered with Student Activities, Student Government, and Arts & Sciences to ensure the success of that movie screening. Many of Prism’s events are best documented through photos, rather than thank-you notes, so I have above included pictures we have taken at various events featuring Prism and its members. I am extremely proud of this group, what it represents, and what it does for the reputation—and the students—of Saint Leo University.

My work with Prism makes me a natural fit for our new university-wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (dei) committee, on which I have served since its inception. This appointment allows me to push for greater access to the benefits and resources of Saint Leo for faculty, staff, and students alike, and it will lay the foundations for a dei office as envisioned by President Senese and our Renaissance 2021 plan.

Similarly, my work with the Composition Committee has positioned me to expand my service through a wac tlc and, in the future, through broad, interdisciplinary wac training sessions for faculty at all locations. The scholarship discussed in Scholarship of Teaching has positioned me well in anticipation of the new wac qep, and I am eager to partner with ctle to bring our vision for writing across Saint Leo to fruition.

After the successful development of my institutional service since joining Saint Leo, and particularly over the past year, I now have set these targets for the years ahead:

  • Short-Term Goals
    1. Find ways to offer Safe Zone Ally training to all Resident Assistants, ensuring our residential students have easy access to necessary resources
    2. Build Prism’s online presence through EngageLeo and Lionshare
  • Medium-Range Goals
    1. Host Sunday Drag Brunch as Food for Thought event
    2. Create network of Composition Faculty Liaisons at all centers
  • Long-Term Goals
    1. Reflect Saint Leo’s “one university” initiative in the design and operations of Prism by extending its programming and community into centers and online spaces
    2. Continue developing the student leadership of Prism, providing professional and personal growth opportunities for its officers
    3. Establish a Saint Leo Writing Program, serve as director of that program, and represent Saint Leo in the Council of Writing Program Administrators (cwpa)
    4. Create a Saint Leo Writing Center to support our new composition program and wac initiatives

As I continue my work at this institution, I remain dedicated to the “one university” initiative, ensuring that my service, whether online or on campus, benefits every member of our community. As a faculty member charged with teaching half online and half on campus, I will bring my unique perspective to bear on all my service efforts, ensuring that the emphasis of my future service work remains squarely focused exactly where I began this portfolio: with our students.

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