I am an associate professor at Michigan State University, where I teach a wide variety of courses in MSU's Residential College in the Arts and Humanities. Most of the courses I teach integrate some mixture of writing, design, technology, and media. I also teach a "study away" class in which students live in the city of Detroit for one week. Finally, I direct the RCAH Language and Media Center, where students compose multimedia projects with the support of knowledagble peers.

My training as a scholar is in the field of writing studies, with a focus on "computers and writing." Generally speaking, I am interested in all the ways that old and new technologies shape the way we communicate. We live at a time when communicators have a lot of options: stories, essays, videos, web pages, animations, charts, graphs, etc. I am interested in the implications of this newfound expansiveness. This has led to an interest in visual communication and "multimodal" communication (communication that integrates images, words, sounds, and other media elements).

I'm also a drummer and an amateur musician. I still have a 1970s-era Slingerland drum kit in my basement. I grew up in a musical household and played in the school band beginning in the sixth grade. While I have no formal training in melodic instruments or music composition, I sometimes try to compose music — usually with a cheap composing application called Melody Assistant.

After majoring in English as an undergraduate, I got an MFA in creative writing, with an emphasis in fiction.

So in many ways, I am a dabbler. On any given day I might mess around with video footage, experiment with frame-based animation, compose beats on my kit or in Melody Assistant, or work on a traditional short story that consists of black words on a white page. I am lucky enough to teach in an interdisciplinary arts and humanities program where I am surrounded by students and faculty who also have a wide range of interests. When I have a question about something, chances are pretty good there is a knowledgeable person nearby to help me out.

Occasionally, I try to combine multiple interests, as in this animation, for which I created all of the content, including story, visuals, and sound.

Finally, I have always had a deep interest in the city of Detroit. I was born in Detroit and grew up in the northern suburbs. My mother was raised in Detroit and my grandmother lived in the same house where she raised my mother until I was about seven. At a fairly early age, I was attracted to a cultural richness that I found in the city and that was missing in the suburbs. My dissertation focuses on Detroit, and I frequently incorporate Detroit themes into my classes.