* Excellence in Teaching Award from Purdue University. (2011)
* Quintilian Award for Teaching from Purdue University: given to the top ten percent English instructors in the Introductory Composition program. The award is based on the instructor’s overall student evaluations and comments. (Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011)
Teaching Experience: I am currently an instructor of two undergraduate courses at Purdue University: First-Year Composition and Introduction to Creative Writing. I greatly enjoy teaching and have been recognized with a “Q Award for Excellence in Teaching” at Purdue. I also have experience teaching creative writing workshops to students in elementary school, middle school, and high school. Every summer I organize and instruct the Write On! Summer Writing Camp (as part of my nonprofit organization Write On! For Literacy) in my hometown of Ventura, California. More information about Write On! For Literacy can be found at http://www.writeonbooks.org/
Writing Background: I am pursuing my Master’s (MFA) in Fiction Writing at Purdue; I received my B.A. in Creative Writing with a minor in Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California. My writing credits include two published collections of short stories that received rave reviews from The Los Angeles Times, Girls’ Life Magazine, and the national PBS book talk show “Between the Lines.” My short fiction has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Dzanc Books “Best of the Web” anthology and has appeared in a variety of literary journals including Monkeybicycle, The Ramshackle Review, and Fiction 365. My nonfiction articles and essays have been published in Family Circle, Writer’s Digest, The Writer, Justine, and nearly a dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul series books. I currently serve as Assistant Fiction Editor of Sycamore Review. In the classroom, I aim to use my experience writing and publishing in a wide variety of genres to encourage my students to take risks, cross borders, and explore new terrain in their own writing.
Business & Entrepreneurship Experience: As part of my undergraduate Entrepreneurship minor, I came up with an idea for a viable business and wrote a feasibility analysis, business plan, and marketing statement. In 2010, I launched Write On! Books youth publishing company, which publishes anthologies of stories, essays and poetry written by students in middle school and high school. For the better part of a year, I culled submissions from across the U.S. and even abroad (young writers from Singapore, Canada and New Zealand are all featured in the book) and then I edited, designed, and put together a vibrant, cohesive manuscript. Dancing With The Pen: a collection of today’s best youth writing debuted in February 2011 and reached a #2 ranking on Amazon.com in the “literature anthologies” category in its first week of release.