Ph.D., M.A., Catholic University of America
B.A., University of St. Thomas
I joined UB in 2011, literally during Hurricane Irene! Having grown up in Houston, Texas, hurricanes are not new to me, but trying to get to Baltimore was a real challenge. In my position in academic administration and as a professor, I have the opportunity to work with both faculty and students, which is a great arrangement.
My doctoral dissertation was an innovative project: reconstructing the contents of an 18th-century English bookstore owned and operated by the only notable woman bookseller and businesswoman of the 1740s, Mary Cooper. I spent hours at the Library of Congress using its newspaper collections, and the research was a wonderful way to learn so much about the lives and interests of people during that period. I was fortunate to have two great mentors during graduate school who helped shape my professional interests in other areas: women's studies and Irish literature and culture.
My teaching career began in the mid-1980s. Over the years, I have created courses in technical writing, women's literature of the 18th to 21st centuries, Irish studies, Scottish studies and topics courses including those exploring fiction by women writers from Arabic-speaking countries.
I have composed two textbooks used in advanced writing classes: Writing about Science (with Elizabeth Bowen) and Writing about Business and Industry . My most recent monograph is Anna Parnell's Political Journalism: Texts and Contexts. For this book, I received a grant from the Irish American Cultural Institute and I gave my first radio interview on an Irish-American radio program in New York City as part of my book tour.
In early 2000, my career took an important turn when I became more involved in accreditation work and in institutional effectiveness research. In 2009, I became a Teagle Assessment Scholar, and I lead workshops and programs at colleges and universities in program and course design with a focus on assessment. I have been presenting research regularly at major conferences on assessment and student learning, and I remain active in my regional 18th-century studies society.
I try to maintain a good balance between work and home, so I enjoy reading, especially new fiction and poetry; following the Orioles; and when I have a few spare hours, heading to the golf course. Working at UB has been a delight, and I am honored to be part of this community.