Select Page

SCHOLARSHIP

Here you will find a short description of my academic journey and a few examples of work I’ve completed so far.

CHANCE GAMBLE

The Beginning

Dr. Odom’s office was small, with a collage of postcards from places she’d been or would like to go. Shelves packed with books on the left wall, a poster board with thank you notes, a cat calendar, and inspirational pictures on the right wall – for an English professor, it was fairly standard décor (if such exists). But it was in this space that the threads of my many disparate interests came together.

It was the first semester of my master’s program at the University of Texas at Tyler, and I was in Dr. Odom’s “Rhetoric of Demagoguery” course. I don’t know if this was our first or second real conversation – epiphanies are fuzzy for me – but we were discussing my study of Pope Urban II’s speech at the Council of Clermont. This assignment brought together history, religion, and rhetoric to show the unequivocal impact our stories have on the world around us. 

“I’d come to my master’s program with the idea of becoming a Tolkien scholar – after this conversation, I would leave it a rhetoric scholar (though still in love with Tolkien).”

The Middle

My scholarly interests focus on the relationship between rhetoric and narrative. For my master’s thesis, I looked at connections between the ancient Greek kairos and Tolkien’s “eucatastrophe” in his Lord of the Rings. I plan to build on this research as I expand to other areas of interests: How do stories change us? Why are they foundational for our lives and discourse?  

As of Fall 2019, I am completing my first semester of my Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition at Texas Christian University. I selected this program for a number of reasons: academically, TCU has the oldest endowed chair in rhetoric and composition in the United States, with a history of excellent scholarship in the field. Professionally, the program boasts a remarkable placement rate for its graduates and came highly recommended by the chair of my MA English department. Personally, TCU is close to my network of Dallas friends and East Texas family, which gives me another four years to be available for my parents and grandparents.

“But that’s often how stories work, casting present light over past ground to make substance out of shadows.”

But Not The End

My journey to this place was a winding road, with stretches that varied from writing for a hedge fund and working as the director of marketing for a real estate office to private tutoring for the SAT and ACT. In retrospect, some of my life’s oddities begin to make sense: my high school fascination with Aristotle’s Rhetoric, my undergraduate interest in hermeneutics, my use of creative writing as both personal outlet and social platform. But that’s often how stories work, casting present light over past ground to make substance out of shadows.

Some of my current interests include the effective integration of narrative as an instructional method in First-Year Composition, neurocognitive considerations for narrative study, and potential applications for narrative rhetoric outside of academia. I hope to learn more specifically about the rhetorical principle of charity and how this can help foster the viewpoint diversity essential to constructive academic discourse.

Education

  • B.A. in English and Christian Studies from Dallas Baptist University
  • Oxford University (Semester Abroad)
  • M.A. in English from The University of Texas at Tyler
  • Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition from Texas Christian University (expected 2023)

Teaching Experience

  • ENGL 1301 (Argument) at UT Tyler
  • ENGL 1302 (Research) at UT Tyler
  • ENGL 10803 (Writing as Inquiry) at TCU 
  • Workshops via Zoom as Assistant Director of the Center for Digital Expression at TCU
  • SAT/ACT Private Tutoring

Recognition

  • 2019 Graduate Multimedia Writing Award at TCU
  • Graduate School 180 1st Place and People's Choice (UT Tyler)
  • De Jager Award for Research Seminar (Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford) 
  • First Place in Fiction (DBU DOXA Literary Festival)

Professional Portfolio

Course Project
An Exploration of Narrative Literacy

Research Project
Narrative in First-Year Composition Instruction

Master’s Thesis
“NEW HOPE IN THE MIDST OF DARKNESS”: EUCATASTROPHE AS KAIROS IN THE LORD OF THE RINGS

Book Review
The Coddling of the American Mind

Course Portfolio
#BlackGirlMagic