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Faculty and Staff

Jump to listing for: Department Leadership, StaffFull-Time Faculty

Department Leadership

Ron Brooks, chair and associate professor, received a PhD from the University of Oklahoma. He is the founding chair for the Department of Writing Studies and his research interests include: rhetorical theory and history, peace activism, writing center theory/practice, and composition theory. He has taught courses in composition, writing pedagogy, style and editing, and digital writing. At Oklahoma State University, Brooks served in a variety of administrative roles including the Director of Composition, the Director of Rhetoric and Professional Writing, and the Associate Head of the English Department. Brooks has published in journals such as College Composition and CommunicationEnculturation, and Technical Communication Quarterly. He is currently working on a book that examines Cold War professional writing.
Jessica Restaino, associate professor and director of the First-Year Writing Program, received her PhD from Temple University. Her research interests include composition theory and pedagogy, writing teacher preparation, community and activist writing, feminist rhetorics and research methodologies, and medical rhetorics. She teaches courses across a range of department offerings. She is the author of First Semester: Graduate Studies, Teaching Writing, and the Challenge of Middle Ground and co-editor (with Laurie Cella) of Unsustainable: Re-Imagining Community Literacy, Public Writing, Service-Learning, and the University.
Jennifer Holly-Wells, associate director of the First-Year Writing Program, received a PhD in Modern History and Literature from Drew University. Her research interests include: First-Year Writing administration, writing instruction, and 20th-century American literature. She teaches courses including Intellectual Prose, and Writing and Literary Study.
Bonnie Dowd, assistant director of the First-Year Writing Program, received an MA from Montclair State University. She has taught Freshman Seminar and both College Writing I and College Writing II. She also tutored in history at Essex County College.

Staff

Phyllis Brooks is the administrative assistant for the Department of Writing Studies.

Full-Time Faculty

Dayna Arcurio, instructional specialist, received an MA in English from Montclair State University. Her pedagogy focuses on digital and visual rhetorics; she experiments with the latest digital platforms and designing multimodal assignments. Her classes explore texts in all forms and how rhetorical argument is shaped by digital media and aesthetics. She teaches courses in First-Year Writing and the Professional and Public Writing minor.
Bridget Brown, instructional specialist, received a PhD in American Studies from New York University. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program. She has previously taught at institutions including New York University and Muhlenberg College. She is the author of They Know Us Better Than We Know Ourselves: The History and Politics of Alien Abduction published by NYU Press in 2007.
Claudia Cortese, instructional specialist, received an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Her research interests include Contemporary Poetry, the Lyric Essay, and Hybrid Writing. She teaches in the First-Year Writing Program and has taught Introduction to Writing, Introduction to Poetry, Art of Poetry, and College Writing I and II. Cortese is the author of the following books: WASP QUEEN (Black Lawrence Press, 2017), Blood Medals (Thrush Press, 20‌15), and The Red Essay and Other Histories (Horse Less Press, 2015). She has also published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in Blackbird, Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, and The Offing, among others.‌
Caroline Dadas, associate professor, received a PhD from Miami University. Her research interests include digital rhetorics, public sphere theory, professional writing, queer rhetorics, and research methods. She teaches courses on rhetorical theory, digital writing, research methods, technical writing, and queer studies. She is the author of articles published in venues such as College Composition and Communication, Computers and Writing, New Media and Society, Composition ForumLiteracy in Composition Studies, and Computers and Composition Online.
Denell Downum, instructional specialist, received a PhD in English Literature from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research focuses on Irish literature, with particular attention to how the country’s past and its rich vernacular tradition in the Irish language help to shape Ireland’s literature today. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program and has taught at other institutions including Bay State College, Suffolk University, and the City University of New York. Her articles have appeared in scholarly journals including Eire-Ireland, the New Hibernia Review, and the Irish University Review.
Leslie Doyle, instructional specialist, received an MA in English Literature from the University of Michigan. She teaches courses in composition in the First-Year Writing Program and has published fiction and essays in Front PorchCobaltMARYGigantic SequinsThe Fourth RiverElectric LiteratureFiction Southeast, and elsewhere. Previously, she has taught at Bloomfield College and Seton Hall University.‌
Kira Dreher, assistant professor, received a PhD in Rhetoric and Technical and Scientific Communication from the University of Minnesota. Her research interests span the intersections of technical and professional communication and traditions of rhetoric, as well as qualitative research methodologies. She teaches courses including technical writing, professional and public writing, rhetorical theory, and first-year writing. Dreher has published in the journal IEEE: Transactions on Professional Communication and elsewhere. She is working on a book project that traces the rhetorical work that plain language accomplishes, specifically how medical and government organizations can rhetorically navigate multiple, dynamic audiences — both expert and non-expert — in their obligations to make texts accessible or “plain.”
Shannon Fanning, instructional specialist, received an MA in English from Montclair State University. Her research interests include: visual rhetoric and data visualization, particularly in regards to health and medical issues. Her current work is focused on genre shifts in the visual reporting of Zika virus and on teaching visual genres as social action. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program. Previously, she taught courses at Iowa State University, Hudson County Community College, and Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. Fanning is a PhD candidate in Rhetoric and Professional Communication from Iowa State University.
Laura Field, instructional specialist, received a PhD from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Her research interests include: the challenges of employing a feminist pedagogy in the writing classroom. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program.
Christine Giancatarino, instructional specialist, received an MFA in Theater from Columbia University. She is a certified Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement teacher as well as a theater practitioner. Her research interests explore how embodied experience can serve as a platform for writing. She teaches courses in composition in the First-Year Writing Program.
Sarah Ghoshal, instructional specialist, received an MFA in Creative Writing from Long Island University. Her research interests include: Online and Hybrid Teaching and Learning, Composition and Rhetoric, Creative Writing, Poetry, and Literature. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program and is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Changing the Grid (Finishing Line Press, 2015) and The Pine Tree Experiment (Lucky Bastard Press, 2015).
Emily Hoeflinger, instructional specialist, received a PhD from Texas A&M University. Her research interests include 20th Century American Literature and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her latest research looks at contemporary independent presses/distros as a larger project on the creation of community identity through writing and the impact of that literature on communities. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program and writes creatively in her spare time.
Tavya Jackson, instructional specialist, received an MA in English Literature from Montclair State University. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program. In the past, she has taught writing courses at the University of Georgia and Union County Community College.
Jennifer Johnson, instructional specialist, received an MA in English from North Carolina State University and an MS in Molecular Biology from Montclair State. She teaches in the First-Year Writing Program and has also taught: American and World Literatures, Academic Writing and Research, Professional and Technical Writing, and Organic Chemistry.
Catherine Keohane, instructional specialist, received a PhD in literature from Rutgers University. Her research interests include literary studies (in particular British 18th-century writers), writing placement, and writing assessment. She is working on a book about charity and debt in 18th-century British literature. She teaches courses in First-Year Writing and the Professional and Public Writing minor. She is co-author of the composition textbook, Intersections: A Thematic Reader for Writers (Bedford/ St. Martin’s), with Emily Isaacs. She has published articles in ELHWriting Program AdministrationStudies in the Novel, and Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, and has presented at conferences including MLA, CCCC, and ASECS.
Jordine Logan, instructional specialist, received an MA in Comparative Literature from William Patterson University and an MBA from Husson University. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program. She has also taught writing at William Patterson and Ramapo College of New Jersey. In addition, she’s taught workshops for companies such as T. J. Maxx, Walmart, and Price Waterhouse.
Henry Margenau, instructional specialist, received an MFA in fiction writing from The New School. He teaches courses in creative writing and in the First-Year Writing Program. In the past, he has taught at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Drew University, and Lasell College. He also writes fiction and his work has been published in different venues such as Prick of the Spindle and Cleaver Magazine.
Elizabeth Martin, instructional specialist, received an MFA from William Patterson University in Creative and Professional Writing. She teaches courses in composition and also serves as a Poetry Editor for Map Literary, a contemporary journal of writing and art. Her journalism has appeared in Parsippany LifeNeighbor News, and The Suburban Trends and she is the recipient of two New Jersey Press Association awards. Her poetry has been published by Arsenic Lobster, Eunoia ReviewMenacing Hedge, and Drunk Monkeys. Currently, she is at work on a series of essays that blend the personal with the political and historical contexts of motherhood.
Maria Montaperto, instructional specialist, received a PhD from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Her research interests include the intersections between race theory and composition and rhetoric, particularly on how invisible white privilege manifests and functions as a form of racism in higher education. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program. She has regularly presented at CCCC, the Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s) conference, and other local and national conferences. Her most recent research takes up issues related to disciplinary and institutional mis-implementation of organizational missions toward language equity within first year composition courses and in the professional development of teachers of writing.
Carrie Lee O’Dell, instructional specialist, received her MFA. in Dramaturgy and Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from Stony Brook University. She teaches courses in First Year Writing and serves as co-chair of the Live Literature Committee. Her research and performance interests center on devised theatre. Recent dramaturgy credits include Imagining O (Richard Schechner and East Coast Artists/Peak Performances at Montclair State), The Dybbuk (Elizabeth Swados at NYU/ Tisch School for the Arts), Three Sisters (HiveMind Theater), Departure  and  Yarns (performances in March 2017) with No Dominion Theatre Co.
Shelagh Patterson, instructional specialist, received a PhD in English: Critical and Cultural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh and an MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry from CUNY Hunter College. Her research interests include late 20th and early 21st century American Literature and the socially transformative possibilities of literary collaboration. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program. She is the author of “Universalizing a Nation and the Adaptation of Trainspotting” published by Oxford University Press and the recent review of Straight Outta Compton in the journal A Gathering of the Tribes.
Tatum Petrich, instructional specialist, received a PhD in English and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from Temple University. Her research interests include contemporary American literature, women’s studies, and composition and rhetoric. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program and recently published an essay on Beat writer Hettie Jones in Beat Drama: Playwrights and Performances of the ‘Howl’ Generation.
Donna Phillips, instructional specialist, received an MA in English from Montclair State University. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program. At Montclair State, she’s also served as a graduate assistant in the Department of English and as a tutor for both the Writing Center and for English as a Second Language students in the Department of Linguistics.
Jacqueline Regan, instructional specialist, received an MA in Education from Fairfield University and an MA in English from Montclair State University. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program. She previously worked in publishing and also taught high school in both New Jersey and Connecticut. Regan is currently working on her memoir.
Rick Reid, instructional specialist, received a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Southern California. His research interests include the avant-garde, critical theory, composition and rhetoric, and curriculum studies. He teaches courses in first-year, collaborative, creative, and digital writing as well as in critical theory and literature. Most recently, a book of poems, To Be Hung from the Ceiling by Strings of Varying Length, was published by Black Goat and an article, “Frequency,” that analyzes the multimodal work of Vito Acconci, appeared in the interdisciplinary journal Crossings. Reid also works as a conceptual artist and writer.
Jennifer Russo, instructional specialist, received her PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research interests include experimental poetry, political poetry, and women’s literature. She has published articles on the clairvoyant poet Hannah Weiner in the journal Wild Orchids and in the book Time In Time: Short Poems, Long Poems, and the Rhetoric of North American Avant-Gardism, 1963-2008 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013). She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program.
Shiladitya Sen, instructional specialist, received a PhD in Early Modern drama from Temple University. His research interests include: Shakespeare, Early Modern English Drama, Tragedy, Metatheater, Mythology, English Composition, and Pedagogy. He teaches College Writing I and II in the First-Year Writing Program. He recently published a chapter on “Playing the Performer/Playwright on the Early Modern Stage.”
Sasha Troyan, instructional specialist, received an MA with a concentration in Creative Writing from New York University. She teaches courses in composition, creative writing, and as part of the First Year Writing program. She specializes in creative writing, fiction, and creative nonfiction. She is the author of two novels, Angels in the Morning, (The Permanent Press, 2003) and The Forgotten Island (Tin House Bloomsbury, 2006). Her short story, “Hidden Works,” appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of Ploughshares, guest-edited by the poet Eleanor Wilner and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and chosen as one of the “Distinguished Short Stories” in the Best American Short Stories for 2010.
Christa Verem, instructional specialist, received a MA in English from Seton Hall University and a MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. She teaches courses in the First-Year Writing Program. She has been published in the literary journals Many Mountains Moving and The Wide Shore.