My decision to pursue teaching as a career was a decision I made in 10th grade—I had an English teacher who inspired me and appreciated me as a student, and I knew from that experience that I wanted to do the same thing. Before moving to Roseburg in the summer of 2008, I taught English at a community college in eastern Ohio, and before that, I spent several years teaching at a variety of colleges in the Pittsburgh, PA area as an adjunct instructor. I've also been an administrative assistant, a Dairy Queen fry cook, a FotoMat booth cashier, a qualitative research analyst, a warehouse worker, a phlebotomist, and a retail associate at The Gap. I feel that all of these jobs have made me the instructor and the writer I am today.
I hold an MFA in creative writing from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, as well as an MA in English from West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. I also hold a BA in English, with a minor in philosophy, from West Liberty State College (now West Liberty University) in West Liberty, West Virginia. Every time I think about starting a PhD, I look at the outstanding balance on my current student loans, and I quickly change my mind.
Outside of teaching, I enjoy writing and painting, but I am much better at writing. I love horror movies, even terrible ones. I live with my four cats in Roseburg, while my partner and I split the commute between here and his home near Deadwood, Oregon.
I grew up in Weirton, West Virginia, a small steel town on the upper Ohio River. My family is still there, and much of my poetry comes from my life there, so I still consider it my home in many ways. However, the landscape, the people, and my career at UCC make this my true home. I think of myself as an Oregonian now, and I can't imagine ever leaving.
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