Travis G. Adams

Travis AdamsTravis Adams grew up in Eagle River, Alaska and earned his Ph.D. in English-Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2012.  While at UNL, he completed coursework in rhetoric and composition as well as a collateral field in reading theory and pedagogy from the TLTE program.  At UNL Travis served as Associate Coordinator of the Writing Center, Associate Coordinator of Composition, graduate teaching assistant, and writing center consultant.  In July of 2011, shortly after becoming ABD, Travis accepted a full-time administrative staff position as Coordinator of Student Services for the Office of University Writing at Auburn University.  Travis oversees the Miller Writing Center, designs and facilitates workshops on writing for students and faculty, and helps shape a wide range of writing related programs and pedagogy across campus.  While at Auburn and UNL, Travis has presented on composition and writing center pedagogy at regional, national, and international conferences including CCCC, IWCA, NCTE, I-WAC, NCPTW, SWCA, and MWCA.

His primary research is a continuing exploration of reading’s place and function in higher education.  He analyzes relevant histories of English Studies, scholarship on the use of texts in first year composition, writing center scholarship, and research from K-12 literacy, developmental reading, and study skills.  He draws on experiences and observations teaching reading in each of three sites—first year composition, writing centers, and university workshops—in order to push college reading instruction beyond English Studies’ circular discourse around the kinds of texts which should be read in composition courses.

In August of 2013, Travis returns to Nebraska as Assistant Professor of English and Writing Center Director at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Charise Alexander

Charise AlexanderCharise Alexander Adams (’10) currently works at Auburn University at Montgomery in Montgomery, Alabama, as the coordinator for the Office of University Relations.

At UNL, her composition and rhetoric studies focused on literacy studies, writing center studies, and working with English Language Learners. She also dabbled in Digital Humanities as a research assistant in UNL’s Center for Digital Research in the Humanities. Her thesis, “’Good English:’ Literacy and Institutional Systems at a Community Literacy Organization,” explores how the pressures of being a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization shape conceptions of literacy and learning.

In her current position, Charise coordinates university marketing, publicity and communications projects. She is responsible for creating and managing the university web site content and training university staff in creating quality web content for their offices and departments. Her professional interests include web communications and content strategy in higher education, digital rhetoric and digital humanities.

Charise is married to G. Travis Adams, a ’12 Ph.D. graduate of UNL’s Rhetoric and Composition program. They currently live with their dog, Pickle, in Auburn, Alabama.

Jane Connealy

Jane ConnealyAfter twenty-three years as a classroom English teacher, Jane Connealy’s career path detoured into freelance professional development, consultation and design. Currently she customizes and creates teacher development workshops and seminars specializing in writing across disciplines, writing-centered workshops and Holocaust studies.

Jane began to pursue her Masters in English after participating in the Nebraska Writing Project’s Summer Institute. Based on the SI model, she designed the first Nebraska Embedded Writing Institute at Pius X High School which ran successfully for three years. The model continues in schools in the Lincoln and Omaha metro areas. Her interest in writing across the curriculum continued through several teacher inquiry grants to study Embedded Writing Institutes, and she worked in the Faculty Leadership for Writing Initiative as an assistant to the Composition and Rhetoric Faculty organizing writing seminars, workshops and inquiries for Nebraska K-12 and UNL teachers.

Jane’s research in writing across the disciplines, with an emphasis on Holocaust studies, has taken her from Poland to Israel to New York City to Rwanda and back to Nebraska where she serves as consultant for and conducts seminars on writing, reading and teaching about the Holocaust for the Holocaust Educators Network based in New York City. She has written and received grant funding in educational technology, teacher inquiry and genocide studies and credits her professional curiosity and training to the Nebraska Writing Project which started her on the journey of teacher inquiry in 2000, and supported her through her coursework as she earned her Masters in 2010 in a supposedly culminating moment. Jane reports that hers continues to be an evolving and extraordinary journey in the life of an ordinary English major.

Whitney Douglas

Whitney DouglasWhile a doctoral student in composition and rhetoric at UNL, Whitney Douglas focused on women’s activist rhetoric and literacy, participating in several community-based projects and creating and teaching a course on feminist activism.  After graduating in 2008 with her Ph.D. and a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies, she spent four years in a tenure track position at Marshall University, where she coordinated the composition program.  In 2012, Whitney accepted a tenure track position at Boise State University, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in writing and rhetoric, incorporating service-learning into her courses whenever possible.  Her research focuses on community rhetorics and literacies and how university and community members can draw on one another’s expertise to create and sustain collaborative projects. She is currently working with Jeffrey Wilhelm and Sara Fry on a book project that guides K-12 teachers to integrate service-learning and an inquiry approach into the curriculum as a means of guiding their students to compose activist identities. In addition, Whitney is beginning a mentorship with two local high school teachers as they work to incorporate service-learning in their courses.

Cathie English

Cathie EnglishCathie English's doctoral work focused on place conscious pedagogy in the secondary classroom and strategies that encourage student connections within the community. Her focus has been on economic, cultural and environmental sustainability and the rhetorical practices that elicit awareness within a school, community and region. She currently teaches secondary English at Aurora High School where recently her students investigated poverty and hunger in Hamilton County constructing flyers, fact sheets and iMovies about their research into this issue in her community. She is currently seeking a position in secondary English education and hopes to continue her research into place conscious pedagogy specifically focusing on environmental sustainability. She is also writing a chapter for Writing Suburban Citizenship edited by Robert Brooke, a collection of essays by Nebraska Writing Project secondary and college teachers, written for other secondary and college teachers. These essays probe the practical and theoretical issues of teaching from place-conscious principles in suburban high school English classes and undergraduate public university English classes. The overall aim of the collection is to provide guidance for teachers in imagining and implementing place-conscious education in the "placeless" space of suburbia. She will also share excerpts of this chapter in a paper jam session (Revising Place-Conscious Composition) at the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment Convention at the University of Kansas in May 2013.

Danielle Helzer

Danielle HelzerDanielle Helzer is a fifth year Language Arts teacher currently teaching English with Gretna High School and Omaha Metropolitan Community College. Previously she taught at Ogallala High School and Perkins County High School. After her first year of teaching, she began pursuing an MA in English with a concentration in Teaching. Throughout her time at UNL she focused her studies on place conscious education and social justice pedagogy; her thesis merged these two ideas by exploring how both could be used in the Language Arts classroom to attempt to plug the “rural brain drain.” She graduated from UNL with her MA in August of 2012. Helzer appreciates the chances to learn from other teachers during her MA coursework. She has co-facilitated two Nebraska Writing Project institutes for teachers, presented at both local and national teaching conferences, is published in the book What Teaching Means: Stories from America’s Classrooms, and received the NCTE/NELAC Leadership Development award during the 2012-2013 school year. She currently serves as the Co-Director of the Nebraska Writing Project. Helzer continues to research more about socially just teaching and is increasingly more interested in teacher leadership.

Charlotte Hogg

Charlotte HoggCharlotte Hogg received her PhD in 2001, and the Composition and Rhetoric graduate program at UNL provided her the opportunity to focus and develop her research interests in women’s literacies and rhetorics, rural literacies, and intersections between composition and creative nonfiction.  She is currently Associate Professor and Director of Composition at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth where she teaches writing, rhetoric, and literacy courses at the undergraduate and graduate level and oversees the pedagogical development of graduate instructors who teach beginning and intermediate composition.  She is the author of From the Garden Club: Rural Women Writing Community (U of Nebraska Press, 2006) that explores the writing lives of older women in her hometown in western Nebraska; co-author with Kim Donehower and Eileen E. Shell of Rural Literacies (SIUP 2007) that examines misrepresentations of rural people and literacies and offers strategies rooted in a more complex understanding of rural literacies through sustainability; and co-editor with Donehower and Shell of Reclaiming the Rural: Essays on Literacy, Rhetoric, and Pedagogy, that draws upon multiple perspectives, sites, and methodologies to analyze complex histories, power struggles, and pedagogies impacting the lives of rural citizens in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.  Her scholarly and creative work has also appeared in Women and Literacy:  Inquiries for a New Century, Western American Literature, Great Plains Quarterly, Clackamas Literary Review, The Southeast Review, and elsewhere.

April Lambert

April LambertApril Lambert earned a Masters in Composition and Rhetoric in 2008 with a thesis titled "Reflection, Difference, and Resistance: Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher" under the supervision of Dr. Amy Goodburn. Her thesis focused on her personal classroom experiences as an English educator in public schools as well as theories of reflection and difference that helped her frame and understand that experience.  After being accepted to doctoral programs at the University of Wisconsin--Madison, Michigan State University, and the Joint Program in English and Education (JPEE) at the University of Michigan, April elected to continue her "action research" and "fieldwork" in public schools as a 9-12 English educator.  

Since completing her Masters program, she has taught 11 and 12 grade English for five years in public schools in Grand Island, Nebraska, and Omaha, Nebraska.  She currently teaches American Literature to juniors and Composition to seniors at Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska, and next year will teach the school's Senior Project course in which students prepare a year-long research-based, community-supported project and presentation as their culminating work, which is representative of them and their education and interests.  April resides in Elkhorn with her husband, Adam, who is a high school vocal director, her three-year-old daughter, Cadence, and her 15 month old son, Cohen.  She may be reached through the Westside Community School District in Omaha at

Susan Martens 

Susan MartensSusan Martens started along her academic path first as a high school English teacher and then as Co-Director of the Nebraska Writing Project before beginning her doctoral studies at UNL in 2008. During her time at UNL, she continued her work with area teachers through the NeWP and also gained valuable experience working as Project Assistant on the ACE Outcome One Pilot Assessment Project, as an Associate Coordinator of Composition, and as a member of teaching team for instructors in the secondary English education program. After graduating in 2013, she became an Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Prairie Lands Writing Project at Missouri Western State University in Saint Joseph, Missouri.

Her research interests include place-conscious composition and English teacher education. She has written for  English Journal and for the National Writing Project and has an essay in the edited collection, What Teaching Means: Stories from America’s Classrooms. Research for her dissertation, Writing into the World: Writing Marathons for Teaching Writing, Place, and Advocacy, has led to several forthcoming publications, including one in Louisiana Literature, a vignette about the New Orleans Writing Marathon in College Composition and Communication, and a chapter in an invited submission for Syracuse University Press edited by Robert Brooke,  Writing Suburban Citizenship: Place-Conscious Teaching and the Conundrum of Suburbia

Katie Stahlnecker

Katie StahlneckerKatie completed her doctoral program in Rhetoric and Composition in May 2007 under the direction of dissertation chair Chris Gallagher.  Throughout her studies, she focused on writing center theory and pedagogy with the goal of one day becoming a writing center director.  As she was finishing course work and creating reading lists for comprehensive exams, a job opportunity emerged at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha to design, launch, and direct writing centers at their multi-campus institution.  This turned out to be an ideal set up for her.  In reading for her comps, she was fully immersed in the theory that would shape the foundation for the MCC writing centers, and, in her committee members, she had an experienced and generous team of advisors to guide her along the way—not the same story of isolation and inexperience that most new writing center directors have to tell.  Now, ten years later, the MCC Writing Centers are going strong with five locations, an online service, and forty consultants.  In addition to her director duties, she teaches one English course per quarter.   She and her writing center staff read writing center scholarship for their monthly Conversation over Coffee.  And they regularly present at writing center and composition conferences.  She served as the President for the Nebraska Writing Center Consortium from 2006-2012 and has publications in The Writing Lab Newsletter, Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, and Pedagogy.

Sandy Tarabochia

Sandy TarabochiaSandy Tarabochia is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Oklahoma where she teaches courses on writing, rhetoric, and literacy and co-directs First-Year Composition. She was part of the UNL graduate program in composition and rhetoric from 2005-2010, during which time she studied critical rhetorical education across sites of writing instruction. Sandy’s dissertation draws on qualitative research data gathered during her time as a writing consultant in the School of Biological Science. She argues for a pedagogical approach to faculty collaboration in the context of Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) / and Writing in the Disciplines (WID) projects. Her forthcoming article in WPA: Writing Program Administration, “Negotiating Expertise: A Pedagogical Framework for Cross-Curricular Literacy Work,” theorizes interdisciplinary collaboration as pedagogical activity and offers an interactive scaffold to help faculty build sustainable relationships across disciplinary lines. Sandy’s current research further develops this theory by investigating the rhetorical, linguistic, and discursive moves faculty make when collaborating in WAC/WID contexts.  She uses discourse analysis to study audio/visual recordings of interdisciplinary interactions among faculty at four post-secondary institutions.  Early findings suggest interactive strategies such as storytelling, affiliating, reframing, and veiling expertise have pedagogical functions that help initiate and sustain productive faculty relationships.  Sandy’s research has been supported by Faculty Enrichment Grants and a Summer Research Fellowship from the University of Oklahoma. In addition to pursuing an active research agenda, Sandy teaches upper division courses, including “Writing, Rhetoric, and Society” and “ Rhetoric, Literacy, and Sexuality.”  As Co-Director of First-Year Composition she’s promoted large-scale curricular revision and spearheaded ongoing programmatic assessment.

Nancy Welch

Nancy WelchAs a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nancy Welch focused on composition and rhetoric and fiction writing. Her dissertation—a collection of short stories plus a series of essays exploring through narrative case studies a revision-rich writing pedagogy— became the basis for two later books: Getting Restless: Rethinking Revision in Writing Instruction (Boynton/Cook) and The Road from Prosperity: Stories. After completing her doctorate in 1995, she joined the University of Vermont English department where she has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in composition, fiction writing, and social movement rhetorics. Today as Professor of English and First-Year Writing Director, she also works with faculty across campus who teach UVM’s multidisciplinary first-year writing seminars. Recent publications include Living Room: Teaching Public Writing in a Privatized World (Boynton/Cook) and “We’re Here and We’re Not Going Anywhere: Why Working-Class Rhetorical Traditions Still Matter,” recipient of 2011 Richard Ohmann Award for Outstanding Article in College English, as well as stories in Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. With Syracuse University’s Tony Scott, she is currently at work on a new book-length project tentatively titled Composition in the Age of Austerity.

Eric Turley

Eric Turley teaches English at Kirkwood High School in Kirkwood, Missouri. Currently, he is partnering with the public library to broaden the audience his ninth-graders have to present their podcasts; revamping a team-taught eleventh-grade American Studies course to bring a place-based component into the program; and overseeing the school's writing center. Recently, he co-authored (with Chris Gallagher) Our Better Judgment: Teacher Leadership for Writing Assessment, for the NCTE Principles in Practice series.  While at UNL, Eric focused on progressive-era philosophies of industrial management and the formation of the standards and testing movements in the field of education. This research resulted in his dissertation The Scientific Management of Writing and the Residue of Reform which was awarded the 2009 CCCC James Berlin Outstanding Dissertation Award.