New Doctoral Students (2013-2014)

Andrew Burgess

Andrew Burgess is a PhD student in Rhetoric and Composition at the Florida State University. His research focuses on composition pedagogy, the application of documentary video production techniques to research projects in first-year composition courses, the interplay of rhetorical power in documentary films, and reexamining Kenneth Burke's terministic screens through the lens of documentary film production. He is particularly interested in the self-exploratory, personal documentary style of filmmakers like Ross McElwee and the Maysles brothers. Andrew has completed a master's degree in Media and Communications studies and an undergraduate in Creative Writing. He used to think he was a poet. 


Jason Custer

Jason Custer is a first-year doctoral student in Rhetoric and Composition and a Teaching Assistant in the First-Year Composition Program. Upon completing his thesis, Jason emerged only to discover his PhD is in another castle. Jason will continue his research into how videogames and Rhetoric and Composition inform one another via procedural rhetoric, new literacies, videogame-infused composition pedagogy, and the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing. When he's not busy taking classes and teaching composition using videogames, Jason will most likely be sailing the vast seas of Hyrule, searching for those last few Triforce shards.


Jennifer Enoch

Jennifer Enoch is a first year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition and a Teaching Assistant in the First Year Composition Program. She graduated with her both her M.A. and B.A. in English from Colorado State University-Pueblo, where she also taught composition and worked in the Graduate Writing Center. Her research interests focus on teaching narratives and the rhetorical functions of identity. Outside of academics, Jennifer co-leads her niece's Girl Scout Troop, finds inexplicable enjoyment in terrible movies, and hikes with her family's three huge dogs.


Megan Keaton

Megan Keaton is a first year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition, a Teaching Assistant in the First Year Composition Program, and a tutor at the Graduate Writing Center. She Received her B.A. in English (focus in English Education) from Michigan State University and her M.A. in English (concentration in Rhetoric and Composition) from University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Currently she teaches ENC 1101: Freshmen Composition and Rhetoric. For her Master's thesis, she created a curriculum for First Year Composition utilizing the technique of teacher demonstrations from the National Writing Project; this technique encourages students to take on the position of expert in the classroom while problematizing their writing histories and ideologies. These ideas are carrying over into her PhD studies and teaching. Her research interests include an intersection of power, identity and improvisation in the Composition classroom.


Kendall Parris

Kendall Parris is a graduate student in the rhetoric and composition program at Florida State University. She focuses on visual rhetoric as well as composition theory, and is particularly fascinated with semiotics and narratives. She also loves studying medieval (and medievalistic) texts. In her off time, you might catch her reading or making art while dog-watching at Lake Ella.


Erin Workman

Erin Workman is a first year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition and a Teaching Assistant in the First Year Composition Program. She graduated with her M.A. in English from the University of Maine and her B.A. in Literature with a minor in Creative Writing from College of Charleston. She currently teaches ENC1101 and works a consultant in the Williams Digital Studio. Her research interests  focus on the use of reflection and prior genre knowledge in teaching for transfer, writing assessment, and writing program administration.


Continuing Doctoral Students

Logan Bearden

Logan Bearden is a second-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, FCEA, ISHR, and RSA. His research interests include multimodality (as both field of study and literate practice) and writing program administration. Outside of academia, Logan spends time doing yoga and spoiling his wonderful puppy, Bubba.


David Bedsole

David Bedsole is a second-year doctoral student in Rhet/Comp and a the Assistant Director of the RWC at Johnston. 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

Bruce Bowles Jr. is a second-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 assessment (particularly response) and its effects on student agency. 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 this spring to watch his hometown Philadelphia Phillies during spring training.


Britney Boykins

Britney is a second year doctoral student at FSU and a full time instructor at Tallahassee Community College.


Katherine Bridgman

Katherine Bridgman is a fourth-year Ph.D. student. She 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 current research project examines the role of interface in activists' use of social media during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 with an emphasis on embodiment and transnationalism.


Martha McKay Canter

Martha McKay Canter is a third year PhD student in Rhetoric and Composition, and a Teaching Assistant in the First Year Composition Program. She earned her BA in English and her MA in English Education at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Martha currently teaches "ENC1145: Writing About Writing," a course focused on composition theory and undergraduate research strategies. In her years at FSU, in addition to her classroom teaching, she has also been a tutor and administrative TA in the Reading Writing Center. Martha's research on the Long Eighteenth Century explores rhetorical relationships among gender, space, and home decor. Martha balances her adoration of hearty black coffee with her long-standing yoga practice, and though her studies find her away from family, she visits her husband, Rich, and daughters, Katie and Emma, as often as she can.


Leah Cassorla

Leah Cassorla is a Ph.D. candidate in Rhetoric and Composition, who has taught everything from Freshman comp, to Article and Essay Technique, and WEPO. Leah holds a B.A. in journalism, an M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition, and an MFA in Fiction. Her dissertation considers the threat to authority posed by digital convergence via the Fifth Estate. 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. Her three great loves--her honey, her puppies, and her books--reside with her.


Jacob Craig

Jacob Craig is a second year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition and a Teaching Assistant in FSU's FYC program. He is currently serving as the administrator of the computer writing classrooms where he is working to support instructors' use of technology by creating and compiling materials that demonstrate and describe ways of implementing digital technologies in writing classrooms. He graduated with a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Professional Technical Writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. His research is focused on digital technology's implications for writing as a medium for learning and communicating, a teachable subject, and an everyday practice. You can find his website at jacobwc.com.


Molly Daniel

Molly is a third year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition, a Teaching Assistant in the First Year Composition Program, and the Rhetoric and Composition Program Assistant. 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. She also went through the National Writing Project in 2010 and has served as a teaching consultant for Summer Institutes. While at FSU, Molly has participated in conferences, including CCCCs, Feminisms and Rhetorics, National Women's Studies Association, and WPA. Currently she teaches ENC1145: Writing About Gossip and Gender where she is cultivating her pedagogy that engages Twitter, #FSUGossipandGender. Her research interests focus upon the representation of the body within New Media using the dancing body as a vehicle and the positioning of multiple literacies (Somatic, Visual, and Alphabetic) within the dance community. Outside of academics, Molly is a classically trained dancer in ballet and modern, in addition to other genres, with a keen interest in choreography; she has happily found a dancing home at Hannah Bergstrom's School of Dance and a new love of yoga at Hot Yoga Tallahassee.


Leigh Graziano

Leigh Graziano is a fourth year PhD student in Rhetoric and Composition, a Teaching Assistant in FSU's Editing, Writing, and Media Program, and currently is serving as a mentor in the First Year Composition Program. Leigh's research centers on visual-material rhetorics, especially the way the everyday is saturated with rhetorical practices as individuals take up rhetoric in nontraditional ways to intervene in the world. My dissertation, Mourning the Dead: Living Memorials, Rhetorical Functions, and Everyday Multimodality, applies classical rhetorical concepts to one such twenty-first century phenomenon: living memorials. She engages in a recovery project as a means to classify and evaluate living memorials as an example of how visual-material rhetorics extend the Aristotelian discourse types by revealing new characteristics latent within traditional verbal rhetorics. She currently has an article under review at JAC, "'Individual Quilts, Collected Together': Characterizing Living Memorials as a Rhetorical Theory" and a collaborative book chapter with Dr. Yancey, Rory Lee, and Jennifer O'Malley published in Using Reflection and Megacognition to Improve Student Learning. Leigh has presented at national conferences such as CCCC, Rhetoric Society of America, and Computers and Writing. Leigh graduated from 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.


Aimee Jones

Aimee Jones is a second year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition, a Teaching Assistant in the First-Year Composition Program, and Assistant Director of the Reading and Writing Center. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of Florida and her M.A. in English Literature from Florida International University. Her research interests include multicultural/multilingual literacies and composition studies. Aimee moved to Tallahassee with her husband after spending a year and a half teaching English in Japan and traveling throughout Southeast Asia. Outside of academics, Aimee also enjoys surfing, competing in triathlons, traveling, and photography.


Heather Lang

Heather Lang is a second year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition, a teaching assistant in the First Year Composition program, and member of the FSU First Year Composition Committee. Heather received her B.A. from New Mexico State University with a double-major in Journalism and Mass Communication and Women's Studies. She also received her M.A. in English - Rhetoric and Technical Communication with an emphasis in Cultural Studies from the same institution. During the 2013-14 academic year, Heather is teaching ENC1145: Writing about Public Service and Community Action, a service-learning course. Her research interests include embodied rhetorics, with an emphasis in disabilities studies, fat studies, and performance. In her free time, Heather enjoys reading, writing, and HBO.


Rory Lee

Rory Lee is a fifth-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, Now with More Modes?: The Curricular Design and Implementation of Multimodality in Undergraduate Majors in Writing/Rhetoric, which explores the curricular role of multimodality within a select group of undergraduate major programs in writing/rhetoric. 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 Martorana

Christine Martorana is a third-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition. This year, she is serving as an Assistant to the Director of First-Year Writing and an Assistant for the Editing Internship Program at FSU. 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's research focuses on intersections between visual texts, gender, and agency. She also enjoys running the Tallahassee trails, hot yoga, and playing the piano.


Stephen J. McElroy

Stephen J. McElroy is a Ph.D. candidate in Rhetoric and Composition, a Teaching Assistant in the Editing, Writing, and Media program, and Assistant Director of the Digital Studio, Williams location. 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 research interests lie at the intersection of composition, technology, design, and production.


Josh Mehler

Josh Mehler is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition, and a teaching assistant in the Editing, Writing and Media program. Josh has also worked as a tutor in the Digital Studio and the Graduate Writing Center. Much of Josh's research revolves around technology, historiography, and everyday writing; his dissertation explores the relationship between portable technologies, everyday writing, and the formation of alternative writing communities, spanning from the late nineteenth century to the present. 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 M.A. in English with a focus on Rhetoric and Composition, and an Honors B.A. in English Literature. In his free time, you can find Josh either experimenting in the kitchen, splashing in a pool, or shouting Japanese 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

Jennifer O'Malley is a Ph.D. candidate at Florida State University where she teaches courses in the First-Year Composition Program and the Editing, Writing, and Media undergraduate English major. Her research focuses on questions of implementation of the social in composition pedagogy, the development of writing and rhetoric curricula, and the effects of digital composing environments on writing courses. She has presented her research at conferences such as Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), International Writing Across the Curriculum Conference (IWAC), Council of Writing Program Administrators Conference (CWPA), and South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference (SAMLA). She has published a collaborative book chapter, "Reflection, ePortfolios, and WEPO: A Reflective Account of New Practices in a New Curriculum," in Using Reflection and Metacognition to Improve Student Learning. 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. When she's not teaching, researching, writing, or composing, Jennifer enjoys the running trails of Tallahassee and inshore fishing.


Elizabeth Chilbert Powers

Elizabeth Powers is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition who teaches in FSU's Editing, Writing, and Media and First-Year Composition programs. 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 center studies and rhetorical theory, especially rhetorics of place and visual rhetoric.  She has presented at CCCC, IWCA, WPA, RSA and has published work in Praxis: A Writing Center Journal and Writing Lab Newsletter. (forthcoming).


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

Natalie Szymanski an ABD Rhetoric and Composition Ph.D. candidate 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. Her academic interests focus on the varied ways visual, digital, and networked communications are altering college composition pedagogies. This year, she will complete her dissertation: a qualitative study that explores the delicately balanced ecologies at play when First-Year Composition programs work to incorporate technology and new media. You can view samples of her digital pedagogy, administration, and scholarship at www.natalieportfolio.com.


Bret Zawilski

Bret Zawilski is a third-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition, where he has worked as a tutor in the FSU Digital Studio and a Teaching Assistant in the Editing, Writing, and Media program; currently, he serves as the Editorial Assistant for College Composition and Communication. 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 revolve around new media composition, multimodality, and the role of material awareness in knowledge transfer. Outside of the academy, he dabbles in writing science fiction, sketching, and the saxophone.