Trailer Park Kid from Rural West Virginia. First-Generation College Student. College Professor. Reader. Writer. Husband. Daddy. Boxing Aficionado. Rappalachian. Coffee Junkie. Working-Class Scholar. Not in that particular order.
I teach college courses that focus on rhetoric’s connection to identity construction. I write about this sort of stuff too. My first book, The Rhetoric of Appalachian Identity, was published by McFarland in 2014. My new one, 12 Rounds in Lo’s Gym, was published by West Virginia University Press in early 2018. I’m currently working on the authorized biography of Drew “Bundini” Brown, Muhammad Ali’s outspoken trainer and hype man.
I am an Associate Professor of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communication at Siena College in Loudonville, New York. I earned a B.A. in English Education and M.A in Rhetoric and Composition from Marshall University, along with a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition from Ohio University.
My Courses include:
WRIT 100: Introduction to Rhetoric and Writing
WRIT 200: Advanced Rhetoric and Writing
WRIT 220: Rhetoric and Oral Communication
WRIT 390: Rhetoric and Appalachian Culture
WRIT 350: Rhetoric(s) of Hip-Hop Culture
WRIT 499: (Independent Study): Hip-Hop and American Politics
WRIT 499: (Independent Study): Contemporary U.S. War Rhetoric
WRIT 499: (Independent Study): Class Identity and Academic Discourse
I’m a member of the Damietta Cross-Cultural Center Hip-Hop Week Planning Committee and The Martin Luther King Jr./Coretta Scott King Lecture Series on Race and Nonviolent Social Change, and the Siena College Diversity Action Committee. I’ve served as the faculty advisor for numerous Siena College student clubs, such as English Society, Hip-Hop Club, and The Promethean (Siena’s school paper). I was recognized as “Faculty Mentor of the Year” by the Office of Academic Community Engagement in May 2017.
My scholarly research draws from a variety of fields: Appalachian Studies, Rhetoric and Composition, Community Literacy Studies, Communications Studies, and Critical Theory/Pedagogy. I also work within the mediums of fiction, literary nonfiction, and memoir.
My work has been featured in The Community Literacy Journal, Sounds of Resistance: The Role of Music in Multicultural Activism, and Rereading Appalachia: Literacy, Place, and Cultural Resistance. Following the release of The Rhetoric of Appalachian Identity, I served as a Visiting Writer at Marshall University, Ohio University, Virginia Military Institute, and as a guest lecturer for the Damietta Cross-Cultural Center. I’ve presented at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Rhetoric Society of American and College English Association Conferences, the Thomas R. Watson Conference on Composition and Rhetoric, and the Sports Literature Association Conference.
I’m an advocate for the preservation of Hip-Hop Culture and regularly teach a course titled “Rhetoric(s) of Hip-Hop Culture.” At Siena College, I assist with the Damietta Cross-Cultural Center’s annual “Hip-Hop Week” festivities, where I’ve worked with Hip-Hop legends such as Grandmaster Flash, Chuck D & Professor Griff of Public Enemy, and Sha Rock of The Funky Four +1. One of my latest publications, “Rappalachia: Appalachian Rhetoric in Hip-Hop Music,” will be featured in the upcoming Oxford Guide to Hip-Hop Studies (stay tuned).