New Doctoral Students (2012-2013)
Logan Bearden is a first-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition and a Teaching Assistant in the First Year Composition Program. Logan earned is B.A. in English Literature in 2010 and his M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition in 2012, both from Florida State University. He has presented at WPA, CCCC, and RSA. His research interests include multimodal rhetorics, the intersections of technology and literacy, and the history of multimodality (as both field of study and literate practice). Outside of academia, Logan spends time doing yoga and spoiling his wonderful puppy, Bubba.
David Bledsoe is a first-year doctoral student in Rhet/Comp and a Teaching Assistant in the First Year Composition program. Prior to enrolling at FSU, he taught various writing, design, communication, and theory courses at the college level for over five years. He holds an M.A. in Professional Communication from Clemson University, an M.A. in Theological Studies from Covenant Seminary, and a B.A. in English from Huntingdon College. Otherwise, he plays musical instruments to one degree or another, writes poetry and fiction, cooks passably well, and hangs out with his favorite people: his wife, Kat (also a doctoral student at FSU), and his little daughter, Nora Claire. He also has two sketchy dogs.
Bruce Bowles Jr. is a first-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition and a Teaching Assistant in the First Year Composition Program. Originally from Southern New Jersey, he earned his B.A. in Literature from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey (2005) and went on to earn his M.A. at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2012), where he also worked in the Writing Resources Center and taught First Year Composition. His research interests include response, issues of agency in student writing, and electronic portfolios. In his spare time, Bruce is an avid sports fan (and fantasy football enthusiast), enjoys hiking and other outdoor activities with his wife and canine children, and considers himself somewhat of a film buff. He is looking forward to the possibility of visiting Clearwater next year to watch his hometown Philadelphia Phillies during spring training.
Brittany is a first year doctoral student at FSU and a full time instructor at Tallahassee Community College.
Jacob is a first year PhD student in Rhetoric and Composition and a first-year composition TA. He earned his B.A. in English and his M.A. in Professional and Technical Communication from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He is stoked to be camped out at the intersection of technology and curriculum design and loves talking outcomes, WAC, and open source software. Otherwise, when it's time to get away from the computer screen, he goes way off the beaten path.
Aimee Jones is a first year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition and a Teaching Assistant in the First-Year Composition Program. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of Florida and her M.A. in English Literature from Florida International University. Aimee moved to Tallahassee with her husband after spending the last year and a half teaching English in Japan and traveling throughout Southeast Asia. Her research interests include multicultural/multilingual literacies and race studies. Besides academics, Aimee also enjoys surfing, competing in triathlons, traveling, and photography.
Heather Lang recently completed her MA in Rhetoric and Professional Communication at New Mexico State University. Her research interests include embodied rhetorics & identity, writing center studies and multimodal composition. In her free time, she enjoys reading, blogging, and HBO.
Continuing Doctoral Students
Katie Bridgman is a second-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition, a Teaching Assistant in the Editing, Writing, and Media Program, and the current Director of the English Department's Computer Writing Classrooms. Katie received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina-Asheville and her M.A. here at FSU. She is delighted to have remained at a research institution where she can continue to work in our program while dabbling across campus in Geography and, more recently, Geographic Information Systems. Her interests are currently focused on the intersection of identity, location, and text.
Martha McKay Canter
Martha McKay Canter is a second-year PhD student in Rhetoric and Composition, a Teaching Assistant in the First-Year Composition Program, and a tutor and TA in the Reading Writing Center. She earned both her BA in English and her MA in English Education at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Martha's research focus is on rhetoric and women's writing and collaboration in the Long Eighteenth-Century. She is currently writing about monsters, and the English Country House. She is married, has two daughters, and has practiced yoga for several years
Leah Cassorla is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in Rhetoric and Composition, currently teaching Article and Essay Technique. Leah holds a B.A. in journalism, an M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition, and an MFA in Fiction. Her dissertation looks at the libel case of John Peter Zenger (a colonial publisher) and the recent uproar surrounding Shirley Sherrod to explore the rhetoric of authority in American journalism as well as issues of libel in the face of digital convergence. She hails from just about everywhere, but was born in a tiny town in the Negev Desert in Israel. Leah left teaching journalism and advising The Spectator at Valdosta State University to move to Tallahassee and work full time on her Ph.D. She will be at NCTE presenting "DeComposition: Making Traditional Writing Classes Creative" in November. Her three great loves--her honey, her puppies, and her books--reside with her.
Molly Daniel is a second year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition and a Teaching Assistant in the First Year Composition Program. She graduated with both her B.A. in Literature and a minor in Dance and her M.A. in English—Rhetoric and Composition from Marshall University in West Virginia. Her research interests focus upon the representation of student voice in writing, the "I" within digital spaces, feminist rhetoric, and the intersections of rhetoric and dance. Outside of academics, Molly is a classically trained dancer in ballet and modern, in addition to other genres, with a keen interest in choreography.
Leigh Graziano is a third year PhD student in Rhetoric and Composition, a Teaching Assistant in FSU's Editing, Writing, and Media Program, and current is the acting program assistant. Leigh's research centers on visual rhetoric, particularly the rhetoric of vernacular memorials. She currently has an article under review at Rhetoric Review, "'Individual Quilts, Collected Together': Characterizing Vernacular Memorials as a Rhetorical Theory" and a collaborative book chapter with Dr. Yancey, Rory Lee, and Jennifer O'Malley that is forthcoming. Leigh graduated the University of Delaware with a MA in English with a focus on Literature. She uses her free time to fulfill her life-long dream of swimming with the manatees.
Rory Lee is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition, a Teaching Assistant in the Editing, Writing, and Media Program, and the former Director of the Digital Studio. Rory graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a B.A. in Rhetoric and Composition and a minor in English; during the summer of 2009, he earned his M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition at Florida State University. Rory is currently working on his dissertation, which explores the role of multimodality within various rhetoric and composition undergraduate majors. In his free time, Rory voraciously consumes anything and everything associated with the Green Bay Packers. Much to his friends' and colleagues' chagrin (or amusement), he's a professional wrestling fanatic, and having grown up in Wisconsin, he also possesses an affinity for cheese and meat.
Christine Maddox Martorana
Christine Maddox Martorana is a second-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition and a Teaching Assistant in the First-Year Composition Program. Christine was born in South Florida but has spent most of her life living in Ohio. She received her B.A. from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio and her M.A. from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. Christine is excited to return to Florida to pursue her Ph.D. focusing on the intersections between visual texts, gender, and gender performance. She also enjoys running, yoga, and playing the piano.
Stephen J. McElroy
Stephen J. McElroy is a third-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition, a Teaching Assistant in the Editing, Writing, and Media program, and Assistant Director of the Digital Studio. Stephen graduated with a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Western Kentucky University and an M.A. in English with a concentration in writing from Belmont University in his hometown of Nashville, TN. His current scholarship includes work in epistolary writing, electronic portfolios, and the intersection of rhetoric and technologies.
Josh Mehler is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition, a teaching assistant in the Editing, Writing and Media program, and a tutor in the Reading Writing Center and Digital Studio. Josh's academic work focuses on the intersections between writing, technology, and mobility, and explores how these intersections affect both bodies and places. Josh's dissertation, Mobile Vulgus: Vernacular Writing, Portable Technology and Local Publics, explores the relationship between portable technologies and vernacular writing, spanning from the late nineteenth century to the present. He is also currently co-authoring a book chapter, "Mobility and the Constitution of the Nineteenth Century (Post)Human Body," with Kristie Fleckenstein that explores the relationship between mobility and posthumanity. Josh has presented at major conferences such as CCCC, Rhetoric Society of America, and Computers & Writing. Josh graduated from the University of Windsor, Ontario, with an Honors B.A. in English Literature and an M.A. in English with a focus on Rhetoric and Composition. In his free time, you can find Josh either experimenting in the kitchen, splashing in a pool, or shouting Japanese things in the kendo dojo.
Kendra L. Mitchell
Kendra L. Mitchell is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition and a Teaching Assistant in the English department, where she teaches upper division courses in literature and peer tutoring. Her research interests focus on the intersections of writing centers, race, and literacy. She anticipates sharing her preliminary work at the 2013 Conference on College Composition and Communication. She also has published an essay in the anthology, Postcolonial Composition Pedagogy: Using the Culture of Marginalized Students to Teach Writing. In her "spare" time, she serves on the Literacy Volunteers of Leon County Board of Directors and dances at her church.
Jennifer O'Malley is a second year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition, Assistant to the Director of the First-Year Composition Program, and a Teaching Assistant in the Editing, Writing, and Media Program. Originally from Ormond Beach, Florida, Jennifer graduated from Jacksonville University with a B.A. in English and a minor in writing. In 2010, she earned her M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition at Florida State University. Jennifer's research interests focus on the intersection of technology, gender, and communication, specifically how blogging affects student writing. She also enjoys playing tennis, following the PGA Tour, and boating with her family.
Ruth Outland (formerly Ruth Kistler) is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition. During her tenure at FSU, she has taught courses in the first-year composition program and the Editing, Writing, and Media undergraduate English major, as well as serving as a research assistant for the NCTE president and as an editorial assistant for the incoming editor of CCr. She was also a Florida State University fellow for two years. Her research interests and dissertation focus on undergraduate composition pedagogy and curriculum, with particular emphasis on the ways in which rhetorical theory and practice have informed and might inform the teaching of composition in both conventional and writing-across-the-curriculum programs. Ruth worked as one of the guest editors of a 2009 special issue of Across the Disciplines on Writing Across the Curriculum and Assessment and co-authored the introduction to that issue. She has also presented at conferences such as CCCC, IWACC, SAMLA, and RNF.
Elizabeth Chilbert Powers
Elizabeth Chilbert Powers is a third-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition, a Teaching Assistant in FSU's Editing, Writing, and Media and Assistant Director of the Reading Writing Center. Elizabeth graduated from Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Kentucky, with a B.A. in Creative Writing, and from Boise State University with an M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition. Her research interests include writing centers, environmental rhetoric, and religious rhetoric. She has presented at CCCC, IWCA, WPA, and has published in Praxis: A Writing Center Journal.
Rebecca Furlow Skinner
Rebecca Furlow Skinner is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition. Her current activities include writing, teaching writing and undergraduate writing tutors, tutoring at FSU's Reading/Writing Center, and researching nineteenth century American women journalists' role in the rise of the New Woman. Her other occupations include professional housekeeping, making art in many mediums from glass to fabric, and developing a gallery/studio space in Tallahassee's Railroad Square Art Park, "sharing" as much Eminem as can possibly be tolerated and then (piteously, tearfully) begging 14-year old Mary: "Can we listen to NPR now?" in the car (they commute about 2 hours daily from their demesne in the next county). Also, taking care of family and pets and, oddly, for a feminist perhaps, sincerely enjoying domestic tasks such as dusting, wiping, mending, re-arranging, ironing curtains, baking bread—etc. Plus as a special treat (!) reading the New York Review of Books and London Review of Books... a guilty pleasure.
Natalie Szymanski is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition, Assistant to the Director of the First-Year Composition Program, and a Teaching Assistant in FSU's Editing Writing and Media Program. Natalie received her B.A from the University of Wisconsin La-Crosse in 2007 and her M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition from Florida State in 2009. Professionally, her interests focus on the varied ways digital and visual communications are changing the educational landscape and the ways in which composition is taught. This year, she will be working on her dissertation: a qualitative study that explores the ecology systems involved when First-Year Composition programs work to incorporate technology and new media.
Bret Zawilski is a second-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition, current Coordinator of the English Department's Computer Writing Classrooms, a tutor in the Digital Studio, and a Teaching Assistant in the Editing, Writing, and Media program. Bret graduated from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania with a dual-B.A. in Music and English. He earned his M.A. in Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication from James Madison University, where he also taught courses in First-Year Composition and Technical Communication. His research interests include new media, embodiment, knowledge transfer, and digital rhetoric. He is also an avid fan of science fiction, creative writing, and jazz performance.