Education, Professional Background, and Interests:
I grew up in the Bay Area, and I went to college at UC Davis as an undergraduate and majored in English. Later I earned a Ph.D. at UC Irvine, where I specialized in the study of English Romanticism and had the privilege of taking courses from renowned critical theorists such as Jacques Derrida and J. Hillis Miller. As a graduate student at Irvine, I worked part-time, teaching courses in composition, the humanities, and English literature. I also served as a contributing writer and contributing editor of UC Irvine's Student Guide to Writing. After graduating, I worked as an Assistant Writing Director in UC Irvine's Composition Program, where I facilitated meetings on teaching strategies, mentored new instructors, and helped develop curriculum.
In 2005, I began teaching English full-time at Modesto Junior College. Shortly thereafter, I collaborated with a great group of colleagues to write an article about getting hired to teach at a community college. The piece was published by inside english, and it won that publication's best article of the year award.
In addition to teaching English at MJC, I enjoy serving as a member of MJC's Civic Engagement Project and have been actively involved in its Film and Lecture Series for several years.
As a teacher, I'm especially proud of my students' accomplishments, in all their variety. I'm impressed when quiet students finally feel they can share their ideas in class. I'm impressed when students who work still manage to attend every class. I'm impressed when students acknowledge, accept, and address whatever challenges stand in the way of their self improvement. I'm impressed when students seek out assistance by going to The Writing Center or seeing me during office hours. I'm impressed when students who earn a D on their first essay earn a B on their last. I'm impressed when my students win writing awards at MJC's Celebration of the Humanities. I'm also impressed by the honors students I've had the chance to work with and see develop as writers and scholars.
When I'm not teaching, I'm probably grading or preparing class material. During that time, I usually listen to jazz. When I'm away from the office, I enjoy reading, running, and spending time with my wife and two kids.