Research Interests: Rhetoric and composition
Social Change Interests: Animal welfare; animal rescue
Joined Walden: 2016
About Melissa: I have taught college English for 22 years and have taught college English classes online for 19 of those years. I hold advanced degrees in English, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and Professional and Technical Communication. I have a special interest and expertise in the discipline of rhetoric and composition and enjoy helping writing students to unravel the writing process, which allows them to participate more fully and effectively within their communities. I have served as a subject matter expert for the development of composition courses and have worked as a GRE (Graduate Record Exam) essay rater and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) essay rater for the Educational Testing Service. I live in Tennessee with my husband, son, and many rescue pets.
My Advice to Walden Students
Never give up on improving their academic writing skills. Writing may not come naturally to everyone,
but it's a skill that everyone can practice and become more comfortable with.
My Role as a Teacher
Why I enjoy teaching at Walden:
I enjoy teaching because it allows me to help writing students discover power through communication.
My teaching philosophy:
My philosophy of teaching writing is based on the rhetorical approach to composition (as discussed in Fulkerson's classic "Four Philosophies in Composition"), which promulgates the notion that "good writing is writing adapted to achieve the desired effect on the desired audience." By helping students learn to adapt their writing to different audiences, I give them the power to maximize the number of people who will understand their messages.