Contributors’ Biographies

Chanon Adsanatham is assistant professor at Thammasat University. A bi-cultural scholar-teacher of comparative rhetoric and multimodality, he writes about and teaches Thai rhetoric, digital media, business and academic writing. He has taught in the US for over fifteen years before returning to work in his native city of Bangkok. His research on Thai conduct rhetoric received the James Berlin Memorial Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication in 2015.


Mariel Aleman, a first generation Dominican-American, majored in Sociology with a concentration in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies (GSWS). During her time at the College of the Holy Cross, Aleman served as a student leader and as one of the Co-Chairs of the Caribbean African Student Assemblage (CASA). Aleman is currently pursuing her master’s degree in the College Student Personnel program at the University of Rhode Island (anticipated graduation year 2022) while serving as a Graduate Assistant in the Center for Student Leadership Development.


Danielle Althouse is an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh. 


Amanda Awanjo is a Doctoral Candidate in the English Department at the University of Pittsburgh focusing on critical race and cultural studies, childhood studies. Her dissertation focuses on the ways that 20th-century black women writers crafted alternatives to the damning narratives surrounding them and their place within an idealized “black future,” and how science fiction and black girlhood plays a major role in their resistance.


Ciara Bailey is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh. She is studying Applied Developmental Psychology and is pursuing certificates in PreK-4 General Education and K-8 Special Education. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she is working with organizations to explore and test virtual classrooms and virtual tutoring in order to reach young children who might otherwise miss out on enrichment and academic support due to the pandemic. 


Amanda Beinhauer is an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh. 


Cailin Brashear is an undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh pursuing degrees in Public Professional Writing and Communication and minoring in Political Science. Her areas of academic interest converge at the intersection of using writing as a tool to foster ideas and opening lines of communication. She currently holds a position as Public Relations Intern for the boutique, art-house film streaming platform, Filmatique, where she helps to bridge the gap between the initiatives of the company and the needs of their viewership. 


Jacqueline Bridges is a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in neuroscience and a certificate in American Sign Language. She completed an undergraduate honors thesis which detailed protein alterations of neuronal cells in schizophrenia. She will be attending the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine in the fall of 2021 to earn her medical degree. 


Michael Bunn is a Professor in the University of Southern California Writing Program. He has designed and taught courses in first-year writing, literature, academic argumentation, cultural studies, creative writing, professional writing, and comedy writing. He is also a co-founder of the CCCC Interest Group, “The Role of Reading in Composition Studies.” 


Mia DiFelice is a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with bachelor’s degrees in history and English writing, as well as a certificate in Public and Professional Writing. She currently serves as an editor for Sampsonia Way, the literary magazine of Pittsburgh’s City of Asylum, and works as a librarian’s assistant at Carnegie Public Library. In fall 2021, she will study human security at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. 


Jessica Enoch is Professor of English and Director of the Academic Writing Program at the University of Maryland. Her recent publications include Domestic Occupations: Spatial Rhetorics and Women's Work; Mestiza Rhetorics: An Anthology of Mexicana Activism in the Spanish-Language Press, 1887-1922 (co-edited with Cristina Ramírez), Women at Work: Rhetorics of Gender and Labor (co-edited with David Gold), and Retellings: Opportunities for Feminist Research in Rhetoric and Composition Studies (co-edited with Jordynn Jack).


Jonathan Frye is a University of Pittsburgh alumnus with a Bachelor of the Arts in Public and Professional Writing. He currently works at the University of Pittsburgh Career Center as Marketing and Communications Coordinator. 


Alice Galvinhill is a recent graduate from the College of the Holy Cross with a BA in Sociology and a focus on the Queer Rights Movement. She works as a veterans disability paralegal with Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick and is looking forward to a career in immigration law.


Clara Grantier is a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with a minor in Economics. She is beginning a job at a sustainable investment fund in summer 2021.


Treviene A. Harris is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research examines representations of sound in Caribbean historical fiction. She has four years of experience teaching composition as a graduate student teacher at Florida International University and at the University of Pittsburgh. She has also worked as a faculty writing tutor at Nova Southeastern University and at the University of Pittsburgh. 


Cory Holding works for Pitt’s Department of English Program in Composition, Literacy, Pedagogy and Rhetoric, teaching and writing about the rhetoric of gesture and helping to build support for prison education justice work in rhetoric and composition studies.


Bruce Horner teaches courses in composition, composition theory and pedagogy, and literacy studies at the University of Louisville. His recent books include Rewriting Composition: Terms of Exchange (2016), Economies of Writing: Revaluations in Rhetoric and Composition (2017), co-edited with Brice Nordquist and Susan Ryan, Mobility Work in Composition, co-edited with Megan Faver Hartline, Ashanka Kumari and Laura Sceniak Matravers (2021), and Crossing Divides; Exploring Translingual Writing Programs and Pedagogies (2017), co-edited with Laura Tetreault and winner of the 2018 MLA Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize. 


Eric A. House is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at New Mexico State University where he researches and teaches classes that focus on the impact of culture and identity within writing and communication systems. His current research investigates the ways in which black rhetorical figures, such as the hip hop DJ, impact definitions and application of writing.


As Program Director of the Nebraska Writers Collective, Gina Tranisi works closely with the youth slam poetry program, Louder Than a Bomb: Great Plains. She also facilitates creative writing workshops and poetry slams in correctional settings through an NWC-sponsored program called Writers’ Block. Her writing has appeared in The Rumpus and Young Scholars in Writing, among other journals. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. 


Philipp Koman is an alumnus of the Nonfiction and Public & Professional writing programs at the University of Pittsburgh. In pursuit of his passion for traveling and writing, Philipp uses language to help multinational startups connect with English speaking audiences. 


Ashanka Kumari is Assistant Professor of English and Director of Writing at Texas A&M University–Commerce where she mentors, researches, and teaches graduate and undergraduate students in topics including composition theory, anti-racist pedagogies, nonfiction writing and professional writing, and multimodal composition. She recently published Mobility Work in Composition, a collection co-edited with Bruce Horner, Megan Faver Hartline, and Laura Sceniak Matravers. Her writing has appeared in Composition Studies, Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, and The Journal of Popular Culture, among other journals and edited collections.


Sam Lane is an MFA in Poetry interested in southern culture, lynch studies, and race. He currently lives in Pittsburgh. 


Mary Lawrence is an undergraduate junior at the University of Pittsburgh studying Economics. After graduating she hopes to work with the US Government to help low-income communities refinance and provide new programs and resources for citizens.


Lucas Lecomte is an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh. 


Louis M. Maraj is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver and co-founder of DBLAC, a US-based support organization for emerging Black scholars in language-related fields. He thinks/creates/converses cross-disciplinarily with theoretical Black studies, rhetoric, digital media, and critical pedagogies to specifically address anti/racism, anti/Blackness, and expressive form. Maraj’s book Black or Right: Anti/Racist Campus Rhetorics explores notions of Blackness in historically white institutions, performatively arguing that Black folk must invent “otherwise” in everyday reiterative escape from their oppressive spaces. Recent essays appear in Precarious Rhetorics, Prose Studies, and Women’s Studies in Communication.


Christopher Minor is an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh. 


Derek Tanios Imad Mkhaiel earned his Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Writing from Michigan State University in 2021. His research interests include critical theory and critical making, and took one form in his dissertation, entitled New Materialism, Paralogic Rhetoric, and Multi-Material Composition. Currently based in Southern California, Derek spends his time exploring museums, hunting for chukar, and working on his own paintings.  


Anna Moser is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh. She is studying Exercise Science in the School of Education. After graduating she hopes to receive her masters in Exercise Physiology and then potentially a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. 


Jane S. Nazzal is a professor of English at Mt. San Antonio College. Her research interests include higher education student persistence and success, academic writing, and faculty development. She is currently investigating the placement and support of students in community college composition courses. Her recent publications include “Writing Proficiency and Student Placement in Community College Composition Courses” and “Differences in Analytical Text-Based Writing Across Four Levels of Community College Composition Courses.”


Bernice Olivas teaches writing and rhetoric as Salt Lake Community College. She is a First-Generation scholar who carries identity markers that have shaped her worldviews and academic trajectory. She is Indigenous Mexican American. She grew up as a member of the working poor in rural Idaho. She is the mother of two autistic children. She began her academic career as a high school dropout with a GED. She is a McNair Scholar. She took her PhD in Composition and Rhetoric at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2016; her MA in the teaching of English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2012; and her B.A. in English with a creative writing emphasis in 2010. As a creative writer she dabbles in short fiction and occasionally poetry. 


Kayla Ortiz is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Philosophy of Science, a Certificate in Public and Professional Writing, and a Related Concentration in Latin American Studies. Her research includes issues of epistemic trust in medical science and HIV prevention in South America. She was a member of the 2020-2021 cohort of Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE) Fellows where she continued to enact change on a community level through a partnership with a Pittsburgh nonprofit. 


David Patlakh is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor’s of Information Science and a Certificate in Public and Professional Writing. He is first-generation Russian American and proudly Jewish.


Victoria Pfefferle-Gillot is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with Bachelor of Arts in English Writing—with a Fiction concentration—and Public and Professional Writing. She was one of the first six to graduate from the major program for PPW in 2019. She also earned a Certificate in Children’s Literature. Currently, Victoria works part-time with Phipps Conservatory and also as a freelance writing expert, lending her skills in proofreading and editing to Grammarly, the online writing assistant.  


Hannah Polk is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh. She is studying Natural Sciences with a concentration in Chemistry at the College of General Studies and Communication Rhetoric at the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. Polk hopes to work in the field of innovation upon graduation in 2021. 


Pritha Prasad is an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition in the Department of English and affiliate faculty in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas. Her research mobilizes Black feminisms, women of color feminisms, and queer of color critique to explore the ways that social protest rhetorics and movements have historically shaped—and continue to shape—rhetoric and writing studies, English studies, and the humanities more broadly. Specifically, she investigates constructs of literacy, humanity, embodiment, and history as they emerge through the intersections of sites of knowledge-production (universities/colleges, professional conferences, etc.); racialized and embodied violences in educational spaces (such as instances of police brutality by campus police, racial hate crimes, and/or mass shootings); and resistance acts (student activist movements, die-ins, hunger strikes, etc.).


Keith Plummer currently works in the field of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) as the CEO of Illuminate Consulting and the Director of Research & Learning at Feminuity. Keith is the author of A Guide to LGBTQ2+ Inclusion for HR, People, & DEI Leaders.


Yizhan Qu is an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh. 


Donna Qualley is a professor of English at Western Washington University where she teaches courses in writing, literacy studies, rhetoric, pedagogy, and young adult literature. She is the author of Turns of Thought: Teaching Writing as Reflexive Inquiry (1997) and co-editor of Pedagogy in the Age of Politics: Writing and Reading (in) the Academy (1994). She has published an eclectic smattering of essays on reading, teaching, writing program administration, and learning transfer. Student writing and learning always figure prominently in her research and scholarship.


K.J. Rawson is an Associate Professor of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Northeastern University. He is also the founder and director of the Digital Transgender Archive, an award-winning online repository of trans-related historical materials. His work is at the intersections of the Digital Humanities and Rhetoric, LGBTQ+, and Feminist Studies.


Jacqueline Rhodes is a professor of rhetoric and writing at the University of Texas at Austin. She is author of Radical Feminism, Writing, and Critical Agency: From Manifesto to Modem (SUNY, 2005) and producer/director/editor of the documentary Once a Fury (Morrigan House, 2020). She is co-author or co-editor of five additional books: the award-winning On Multimodality: New Media in Composition Studies (NCTE, 2014), the born-digital Techne: Queer Meditations on Writing the Self (CCDP, 2015); and the collections Sexual Rhetorics: Methods, Identities, Publics (Routledge, 2015); the Routledge Handbook of Digital Writing and Rhetoric (Routledge, 2018); and the Routledge Handbook of Queer Rhetoric (Routledge, 2022).


Nelesi Rodriguez is a Venezuelan-born educator and researcher. Her work examines bodily modes of knowledge production, preservation, and circulation and imagines ways of bringing them to bear in the teaching of composition. She is currently a PhD student in the Department of English at the University of Pittsburgh.


Anna Rosenberg is an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh. 


Sherita V. Roundtree is an Assistant Professor of English at Towson University. She studies ways to develop diverse representation and equitable access for students, teachers, and scholars who write in, instruct in, and theorize about writing classrooms. Her current work centralizes the teaching efficacy, pedagogical approaches, and “noise” of Black women graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) who teach or have taught first- and/or second-level composition courses. Considering Black women GTAs’ feelings of preparedness and approaches to teaching composition, Roundtree explores the networks of support they utilize and how they do or do not use resources to navigate pedagogical challenges.


Nozomi (Nakaganeku) Saito is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of English at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research in literary and cultural studies focuses on Afro-Asian encounters in the context of US empire and expansionism in Asia during the Cold War era.


Khirsten L. Scott is a community educator who works across the disciplines of rhetorical theory and writing studies, digital and Black studies, and critical pedagogy. Khirsten is co-founder and director of DBLAC (Digital Black Lit and Composition), a network of Black scholars focused on writing support and community building. Khirsten is an assistant professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh.


Rachael W. Shah is Associate Professor of English at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she teaches classes in community literacy, public rhetorics, and secondary English Education. Her work has appeared in CCC, Community Literacy Journal, Reflections, TCQ, and the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning. Her book, Rewriting Partnerships: Community Perspectives on Community-Based Learning, was published by Utah State University Press in 2020. 


Tanya Shirazi is a native Angeleno. She’s worked in higher ed. outreach programs for more than a decade and is writing her first novel. She holds an MFA in Fiction from the University of Pittsburgh. 


James Seitz teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in writing, literature, and pedagogical theory at the University of Virginia, where he recently directed the Writing and Rhetoric Program. He has published widely on college curricula and pedagogy, and he is currently at work on a book entitled Teaching College Writing: An Unconventional Introduction.


Matthew Sorlien is a graduate student working toward a career as a high school English teacher in Western Washington University’s Masters in Teaching program.


Marina Sullivan is an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh. 


Sarah Tolaymat is a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering with a focus on Medical Products Engineering. She is currently attending West Virginia University School of Medicine.


Christie Toth is an assistant professor and coordinator of transfer initiatives in the Department of Writing & Rhetoric Studies at the University of Utah. Her research interests include two-year college writing studies, transfer student writing experiences, and collaborative research with undergraduates. Her book Transfer in an Urban Writing Ecology: Reimagining Community College-University Relations in Composition Studies, co-authored with undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty colleagues at the University of Utah and Salt Lake Community College, will be published by CCCC’s Studies in Writing and Rhetoric series in 2022.


Vershawn Ashanti Young, who goes by dr. vay, has been writing for newspapers and magazines for almost twenty years. He is a solo performance artist as well as a professor of communication, race, gender, literature, writing, and performance. He is the author or coauthor of nine books, including Other People's English (Parlor Press, 2019), The Routledge Reader of African American Rhetoric (Routledge, 2018), and Neo-Passing: Performing Identity after Jim Crow (University of Illinois Press, 2018). He is currently the past chair of the Conference on College Composition (CCCC) and Communication, the largest educational organization dedicated to the teaching of college communication and writing.