*This is one story of many featuring our first year PhD students*
Elise is a first year PhD student. Her education started at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington where she got her bachelor’s degree in English with a focus on writing as well as a minor in French. From there she journeyed to Athens, Ohio where she obtained her master’s degree in rhetoric and composition. Now, at Michigan State University she is studying cultural rhetorics with particular interest in writing center studies, queer and feminist rhetorics, and potentially the digital practices of military wives. But she’s still testing the waters.
“I fell in love with queer theory because of its focus on disruption and transgression of hierarchies and institutionalized norms.” Elise said, “I think I love feminism and feminist rhetorics for similar reasons. I am a domestic violence survivor, and discovering feminism during my undergraduate years after my abuse was another way to intellectually process something very personal to me.”
Elise has had experience teaching 1st and 2nd year writing as well as women's gender and sexuality courses.“My favorite thing about teaching is seeing how the content of my course shapes some of my students intellectually and personally. Nothing is more rewarding than getting to know people and seeing them grow because of your teaching.” She explained.
Her professional goals include: continuing to teach composition and women’s gender studies, directing a writing center, and to finally achieve tenure. And after years of dedication and hard work she hopes to eventually take her skills and experience back to the area where she grew up, the pacific northwest.
On the other hand when asked if she could do anything else in the world without repercussion she said that she would love to be a Zumba Fitness instructor.
Her advice to those who are aspiring to be where she is now is this. “When I'm stressed out, I repeat this phrase I once saw in a store window: Proceed as if success is inevitable.”
When she isn’t tied up with her busy schedule at MSU she enjoys eating fancy foods with her husband, hiking, doing yoga or Zumba, or playing with her giant newfoundland mixed dog, Bear.
Twitter Handle: @SisterMarmalade
Written for WRAC by Mary Litteral