In the last few years, my University has become a leader in re-imagining higher education. Through these conversations, I have become increasingly interested in the role that General Education plays in a typical student’s college education. Because of this interest, I will be taking on the position of General Education Coordinator starting in July 2018. I’m excited about the possibilities and am using this blog throughout my sabbatical to explore some of the ideas that I have about the value of strong General Education programs.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Dartmouth College, and a Master’s and PhD in Computer Science from Florida State University. I have previously worked as a waitress, a pizza deliverer, a grant writer and fund-raiser and a software engineer. Since 1992, however, I have taught at the university level, first in several Computer Science departments and currently in a Communication and Media Studies department at a small university in Northern New England. The move from Computer Science to Communication and Media Studies is not as drastic as it might seem at first. As a computer scientist, I was most interested in questions of how technology can be used to aid us and how its use hinders us. I’m still interested in those questions. I now study these issues from the context of digital media, especially games and online social networks. I am particularly interested in the rhetoric of these digital media, that is, how those media communicate their messages and persuade us to think and act in particular ways.