The jobs I have had that don’t appear on my resume likely say more about where I’ve been and who I am than do all the other details printed there in those neat, straight columns. I have in these past twenty years framed houses, nailed up siding, worked in a factory, buffed floors and cleaned windows, finished hardwood, welded whatever, driven a forklift (into the side of truck), operated a backhoe, installed sprinkler systems, trained to be a vacuum salesperson, taught skiing, coached football, and, finally, worked as a stay-at-home dad. Except for maybe the last item on the list, I wasn’t terribly well suited for any of these occupations. And yet, it seems to me that all of these experiences seem to find their way into the classes I teach and the research I do.
My hobbies include running, skiing, backpacking, buying books I think I should read because I’m an English professor, fishing, grilling, grilling students, and—oddly enough—using dashes.
I can juggle, triple jump (though not far), and, on a good day, I can guess within a few dollars how much a grocery cart full of stuff will cost. I can also back up a trailer, mangle Norwegian words beyond recognition, change a diaper in the dark, and, depending on whom you ask, teach (again, these are hidden talents).
My dad (I know it’s trite, but he would be your hero too if you met him), some of my students (you know who you are), my dog (you didn’t), Walter Payton, and my wife (she continues to hang out with me even though she knows with certainty—after more than eighteen years of marriage—that the above list of talents is exhaustive and that I am addicted to nearly all of my hobbies).
I hope to keep doing what I’m doing. I hope to keep working on a daily (and nightly) basis with extraordinary (and extraordinarily diverse) students, faculty, and staff. I hope that each morning when I arrive at my office door I feel as fortunate as I did the first time I pulled it open, peered past my new/old desk and looked out the window and onto the quad—I knew then in that moment that I had arrived right where I wanted to be. I hope to help my students take steps toward achieving their own dreams, toward arriving at their respective window on the quad.
I received my B.A. from Carroll College in Helena, Montana, my M.A. in American Studies at Notre Dame (Go Irish!), and my Ph.D. in English from Marquette University. I have a secondary education teaching licensure from Carroll and, prior to returning to the ivy tower to earn my doctorate, I taught history and English at my high school alma mater for three years.
Ph.D., English, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, May 2002
Dissertation: “Reading into It: Wallace Stegner’s Novelistic Sense of Time and Place”
M.A., American Studies, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, May 1991
Master’s Thesis: “The Rise and Decline of Individualism in the West and Western”
B.A., English , History, Carroll College, Helena, MT, May 1987
Senior Paper for Honors in History: “A History of Camp Rupert: Removing the Nationality Stereotypes during World War II”
University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen Scotland, Spring Semester 1990
Associate Professor (2003-present) Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN
Visiting Professor of Education & Literature (fall 2012) Anqing Normal University, China
Adjunct Instructor (2002-2003) Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
Adjunct Instructor (2002-2003) Alverno College, Milwaukee, WI
Upward Bound Program Teacher (2002) Milwaukee Public Schools
Instructor/Teaching Assistant (1998-2002) Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
English and History Teacher (1995-1998) Bishop Kelly High School, Boise, ID
- ENV 100 Environmental Connections: Phenology
- ENV 100 Environmental Connections: Transportation and the Environment
- ENL 100 Fate of the Earth
- ENL 101 Developmental Writing
- ENL 111 Effective Writing
- HON 111 Honors Effective Writing
- ENL 240 Introduction to Literature
- ENL 270 Environmental Literature
- ENL 270 Sports and American Society
- ESE 350 English Language Arts Methods
- ENL 350 19th Century American Literature
- ENL 351 American Literature 1900-1945
- ENL 352 American Literature 1945-Present
- ENL 420 Composition Methods
- ENL 440 Keystone Course: Ecocriticism
- ENL 440 Keystone Course: Narrative Theory
Takk: A Year of Learning to Teach, Travel (and Live!) in Norway (manuscript in preparation).
30-40 Years West of Here: Essays and Stories from an Other West (with a Forward by Roderick
Nash), editor and contributor (under review, University of Oklahoma Press).
Teaching the Novel Across the Curriculum: A Handbook for Educators, editor and contributor.
Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, December 2007.
Refereed Articles and Book Chapters
“Cognitive Phenology: A Place-Based Approach to the Challenges of Teaching Environmental
Literature,” Interdisciplinary Literary Studies, accepted and forthcoming in 2014.
“Teaching Like a Mountain: The Aldo Leopold Papers Project,” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies
in Literature and Environment, 16.1 (2014).
‘“The middle found me.’ Using a life-story approach to guide the career paths of future middle
grades teachers,” Middle School Journal, Spring, 2013. 48-56.
“Why 30 Rock Rocks and The Office Needs Some Work: The Role of Time/Space in
Contemporary Sitcoms,” Time in Television Narrative: Exploring Temporality in 21st Century Programming, ed., Melissa Ames. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi (2012): 218-231.
“Taking on ‘Best Practices’: A Novel Response to Managerialism in Higher Education,”
Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and
Culture, 12.3 (2012): 389-404.
“My Time as an Insider, Outsider, Advocate, Adjunct,” Academic Apartheid: Waging the
Adjunct War, ed. Sylvia M. DeSantis. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Publishing (2011): 15-20.
“A Land-Based Approach to Postcolonial, Post-Modern Novels,” Journal of Philosophy of
Literary Studies, 5.12 (2010): 23-27.
“Pitcher This: An Academic Dad’s Award-Winning Attempt to be in Two Places at One
Time,” Papa, PhD: Essays on Fatherhood by Men in the Academy, ed. Mary
Ruth Marotte, Paige Martin Reynolds, and Ralph James Savarese. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press (2010): 207-216.
“Its fine I gess: Problems with Peer Review and What These Indicate About the Status of
the Workshop and How Well These Work in College Composition Courses,” Does the Writing Workshop Still Work, ed. Dianne Donnelly. Bristol, U.K.: Multilingual Matters, (2010): 130-145.
“Recruitment and Retention of Majors in the Humanities and Fine Arts: The Bait and Switch in
Higher Education,” The International Journal of the Humanities. 5.1 (2007): 23-30.
“Theories and (Legal) Practice for Teachers-in-Training,” Teaching the Novel across the
Curriculum: A Handbook for Educators, ed. Colin Irvine. Westport, CT: Greenwood
Press (2007): 325-330.
“Remembering How to Do What You Haven’t Yet Done: Using Personal His-stories and Her-
stories in English Education Courses,” Midwest Modern Language Association Journal.
3.1 (2006): 154-165.
“Wallace Stegner’s Novelization of the American West and Western: A Critical Move from the
Epic Old West to a Novel New One,” Journal of the West. 45.3 (2006): 97-104.
“The Popular Western as Epic: A Bakhtinian Understanding of Time in the American
West[ern],” Journal of the West. 45.1 (2006): 74-81.
“Thinking Outside the Book: Comparing Life and Lit,” Academic Exchange Quarterly. 9.1
“A Novel Understanding of Ecology,” winner of the Editor’s Choice Award, Academic Exchange
Quarterly. 7.4 (2003): 7-11.
Invited Essays and Entries
“Hail to the Chef,” News of Norway. Summer/fall (2013) 13-15.
“John Stewart and Stephen Colbert as Jesters in King Harald’s Court: Relying on Heavily Humor
when Teaching English at Home and Abroad,” Nordic Journal of Modern Language
Methodologies, 2. 2 (2013): 1-13.
“The Risks and Rewards of Sports Lit and other Bait-and-Switch Courses,” The College English
Association Forum. <http://journals.tdl.org/ceaforum/index.php/ceaforum/issue/current>.
“I’m Bored,” Owen Wister Review: The Literary & Arts Journal of the University of Wyoming
“Be Careful What You Wish For: Living the Life of a Freelance Writer,” The College English
Association Forum. <http://journals.tdl.org/ceaforum/index.php/ceaforum/issue/current>.
“Teaching American Studies to Electricians, Health Care Workers, Paramedics, Plumbers, and
other High School Students in Norway: A Fulbright Roving Scholar Gets Grounded.”
Nordic Journal of Modern Language Methodologies, 1.1 (2012): 1-13.
“Washington Irving” master entry for The Encyclopedia of the Environment in American
Literature, ed. Brian Jones. McFarland Press (2013).
A Sand County Almanac master entry for The Encyclopedia of the Environment in American
Literature, ed. Brian Jones. McFarland Press (2013).
“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” master entry for The Encyclopedia of the Environment in
American Literature, ed. Brian Jones. McFarland Press (2013).
“En ameriansk laerers innrommelse: Jeg liker russ…,” Folkbladet, Nr. 122, 47 (2011) 26-27.
“An American Take on Lofoten,” Lofot-Tidende, Lofoten, Norway, May 15 (2011) 14-16.
“For the Common Good: A Fulbright Scholar Shares his Impressions of Norway,” Viking
Magazine, (May 2011) 18-21.
“Relax, Don’t be So Banal,” The College English Association Forum
<http://journals.tdl.org/ceaforum/article/view/3363/3034>. 39.2 (2010).
Knowing Your Place in the Profession. The College English Association Forum
<http://journals.tdl.org/ceaforum/article/viewArticle/1944>. 39.1 (2010).
“The Life of an Embedded Generalist,” The College English Association Forum.
<http://www2.widener.edu/~cea/382irvine.htm>. 38.2 (2008).
“Mentors and (Tor)mentors,” The College English Association Forum
<http://www2.widener.edu/~cea/372irvine.htm>. 37.2 (2008).
“What’s on Your Mind,” Murphy Square: A Visual and Literary Arts Publication (2008).
“Tenure Review and the Scary Snort,” The College English Association Forum.
<http://www2.widener.edu/~cea/362irvine.htm>. 36.2 (2007).
American Theorists of the Novel: Henry James, Lionel Trilling, Wayne C. Booth, by Peter
Rawlings, Midwest Modern Language Association Journal. 40.2 (2007): 135-138.
“The Virginian,” The Student’s Companion to American Literary Characters, published by
Bruccoli Clark Layman, Inc. / Manly Inc. (2007).
“Pudd’nhead Wilson,” The Student’s Companion to American Literary Characters, edited by M.J.
Bruccoli and R. Layman, Inc. / Manly Inc. (2007).
“John Muir,” Encyclopedia of American Literature, Volume III, edited by M.J. Bruccoli and R.
Layman and published by Manly Inc. (2007).
“Thomas Driscoll,” The Student’s Companion to American Literary Characters, edited by M.J.
Bruccoli and R. Layman, Inc. / Manly Inc. (2007).
A Master Author entry on “The Novel, 1895-1945,” Encyclopedia of American Literature,
Volume III, edited by M.J. Bruccoli and R. Layman and published by Manly Inc. (2007).
“My Trip to the Real World,” College English Association Forum, 36.1 (2007)
“Admitting to a Marathon,” College English Association Forum, 35.2 (2006)
“The Luckless Writer,” Murphy Square: A Visual and Literary Arts Publication (2006).
“The Charlatan: Part 2 – Why it Feels Weird to Sit at the Big Table,” College English
Association Forum, <http://www2.widener.edu/~cea/351irvine.htm>. 35.1 (2006).
Professing and Pedagogy: Learning the Teaching of English, reviewed for Pedagogy. 6.1
Double review: Mark Twain and the American West and “Hatching Ruin”: and Mark Twain’s
Road to Bankruptcy, reviewed for the Midwest Modern Language Association Journal.
“President Bush, Osama Bin Ladin, The Big Rock Candy Mountain, and My Black Eye,” Your
Black Eye: An E-Journal for Critical Consciousness Vol.1 (2005).
“The Charlatan, Part 1: The Phenomenon Explored and Explained,” College English Association
Forum, 34.2 (2005) <http://www2.widener.edu/~cea/342irvine.htm>.
“Finding a Good Fit: The Teaching Philosophy as Litmus Test for the Job Applicant,” Lore: An
E-Journal for Teachers of Writing, Bedford: St. Martin’s Press (2004).
Whose Goals, Whose Aspirations: Learning to Teach Underprepared Writers across the
Curriculum, reviewed for The Learning Assistance Review: The Journal of the National
College Learning Center Association 9.2 (2004): 57-62.
“Carpooling,” Murphy Square: A Visual and Literary Arts Publication (2004).
“Being Adjuncts: Strings Attached,” Lore: An E-Journal for Teachers of Writing. Bedford: St.
Martin’s Press (2003).
Conferences Papers and Invited Presentations
January 9-12, 2014. “Cognitive Phenology: An Evolving Approach to the Challenges of
Teaching Environmental Literature.” Accepted for inclusion in a special session titled “Cognitive Approaches and their Pedagogical Applications.” Modern Language Association Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois.
November 14, 2013. “Effective Writing in Professional Contexts.” A day-long, workshop-style
presentation developed for the Montana School Board Association, Helena, Montana.
November 13, 2013. “A Pretty Good Talk about Contemporary Norwegian Culture.” Great
Conversations, Helena Education Foundation, Helena, Montana.
November 6, 2013. “Middle by Accident: Guiding the Career Paths of Future Middle Grades
Teachers.” A Symposium on Excellence in Teacher Preparation, Association for Middle
Level Education, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
October 3-5, 2013. “Teaching ‘The Big Two-Hearted River’ in an Environmental Literature
Course: An Exercise in Leading Students into the Swamp in Search of the Big Ideas.”
South Central Modern Language Association Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana.
September 2013. “The Classroom is Your Classroom.” Keynote Presentation, Augsburg College
Fall Convocation, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
March 15-17, 2012. “Teaching Inside the Box: Using Frame Theory to Enable Students
to Engage Complex Narratives.” International Conference on Narrative, Las Vegas,
July 5, 2011. “The Life and Work of Aldo Leopold.” Research Experience for Undergraduates
Program, St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota.
May 24-26, 2011. ‘“Is this Ironic?’ He asked.’ How Humor Illustrates Levels of Meaning
Making.” Nordic Association of American Studies Conference, Oslo, Norway.
January 13, 2011. “Teaching Like a Mountain: The Aldo Leopold Papers Project.”
Invited by the Philosophical Society at the University of Graz, Graz, Austria.
January 12, 2011. “Hollywood’s Response to Climate Change: Starring Dennis Quaid,
Jake Gyllenhaal, and Al Gore.” Sponsored by the Center for the Study of the Americas,
University of Graz, Graz, Austria.
November 9, 2010. “Teaching the (mis)Understood Classic Texts”; “America’s Storied
Relationship to the Land: A Wild Way of Teaching Environmental Literature.”
Narvik VGS Professional Day, Narvik, Norway.
November 9, 2010. “America’s Storied Relationship to the Land: A Wild Way of Teaching
Environmental Literature.” Narvik VGS Professional Day, Narvik, Norway.
October 28, 2010. “Teaching Inside the Box: Approaching American Literature Through
Narrative Theory and Popular Culture.” Faglagsmøte Sandnes VGS (Sandnes
Secondary School Professional Day), Sandnes, Norway.
October 21, 2010. “Hollywood’s Response to Climate Change: Starring Dennis Quaid,
Jake Gyllenhaal, and Al Gore.” Vestfhold School District Conference. Invited Presentation to Secondary Teachers and Area Administrators, Sandefjord, Norway.
September 23-26, 2010. “The Politics of Time/Space in American Television: Narratological
Analysis of Contemporary Sitcoms,” American Studies Association of Norway, Norway
and English Philology Department, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania.
May 1, 2009. “Of Vocations and Keystones.” Augsburg College Board of Regents Annual
Meeting, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
February 25-March 1, 2009. “The Aldo Leopold Papers Project: A Model and Method for
Teaching and Tracking Ecological Thinking in the Humanities.” Association for the
Study of Environmental History Annual Conference, Tallahassee, Florida.
November 13-16, 2008. “A Present that Precedes the Past: How Post-colonialists Chinua Achebe
and Ngugui Wa Thiong’o’s Narratives Resolve Aesthetic and Ecological Problems of the
Modern Period.” Midwest Modern Language Convention, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
June 21-22, 2006. “Excellence in Business Writing.” A writing workshop developed for and
presented to the Montana School Board Association, Helena, Montana.
March 2005. “A Novel Approach to Ecocriticism.” Northeast Modern Language Association
Annual Conference, Boston, Massachusetts.
November 2005. “Teaching the Novel as Genre: Best Practices for Cultivating Critical Thinking
and Careful Analysis.” Midwest Modern Language Association Annual Conference,
November 2005. “Using Personal Narrative to Teach Pre-Service Teachers to Teach Reading and
Writing.” Midwest Modern Language Association Annual Conference, Milwaukee,
September 2004. “Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose: A Meta-Historical, Meta-Literary Work
of Fiction.” Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Annual Conference,
September 2003. “You Had to Be There: The Benefits of Allowing Humor to Happen in the
Literary Classroom,” Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Annual Conference, Missoula, Montana.
Awards and Accomplishments
- 2013—Recipient of the Distinguished Contribution to Teaching and Learning Award for Excellence in Teaching, Augsburg College
- 2012-2013—Center for Teaching and Learning Fellow, Augsburg College
- 2012-2014—Selected to Serve on the Fulbright Commission Scholars Review Board
- 2012—Selected for the Project Narrative Summer Institute, The Ohio State University
- 2010-2011—Fulbright Scholar, Norway
- 2009 Minnesota Father of the Year (seriously!)
- 2008 Selected for the Aldo Leopold Foundation NEH Interpretive Planning Group
- 2000 John McCabe Excellence in Teaching Award, Marquette University
- 2000 Preparing Future Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, Marquette University
- 2000 Alpha Sigma Nu (Jesuit Honors Society)
- 1991 Semifinalist for the Rhodes Scholarship, Northwestern District (Carroll College)
- 1990 Phi Alpha Theta (Honors History Society)
Modern Language Association 2013-2014
Southern Central Modern Language Association 2013-2014
Council on Undergraduate Research 2013-2014
- 2013: $4,000 Dean’s Summer Scholarship Research Grant for work on the book Takk: Nearly a Year of Learning to Teach, Travel (and Live!) in Norway
- 2013: Dean’s $1,200 Travel Grant for MLA Conference Presentation
- 2013: $1,000 URGO (Augsburg Office of Undergraduate Research and Graduate Opportunity) for a mentoring a student summer research project titled “Tibetan Buddhist mythology and environmental attitudes of indigenous, Himalayan communities”
- 2013: $1,000 URGO Grant for mentoring a student summer project titled “Analyzing the Persistence of a Sense of Place Among Young Adults in the Technology-Rich, A-Contextual 21st Century”
- 2013: $975.00 Augsburg College Center for Teaching and Learning Grant for “Cognitive Phenology: An Evolving Approach to the Challenges of Teaching Environmental Literature,” Modern Language Association Annual Conference, Chicago.
- 2012: $1,000 URGO Grant for mentoring a student research project titled “Looking Back, That’s Not True: Navigation of Narrative Meaning in Emerging Adulthood”
- 2012: $1,000 McNair Grant for mentoring a student summer research project titled “Realistic Fantasy and Sub-creation: “A Narratological Approach to Evaluating Storyworld Construction by Using J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth”
- 2009: $4,000 Course Development Grant for the I-Term “Fate of the Earth 101” Course (with special emphasis on student-oriented, project-based learning, team-teaching, and narrative evaluations)
- 2009: $1,000 URGO Grant: for mentoring a student summer research project that investigated the most technologically effective and pedagogically sound means of making primary-source digitized materials available to undergraduates
- 2009: $1,000 URGO Grant for mentoring a student summer research project employing Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac as a pedagogical heuristic for selecting, arranging, and presenting 3,000 thousands of pages of digitized primary papers
- 2008: $4,000 Course Development Grant for the project “Bringing Twain into the 21st Century: Using Hypertexts in 19th Century American Literature Classroom”
- 2008: $1,000 URGO Grant for mentoring a student project titled “Thinking Like a Mountain,” one that entailed completing the annotation of Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac (1949)
- 2008: $4,000 Dean’s Summer Scholarship Research Grant for work on the book Teaching the Novel Across the Curriculum
- 2007 $1,000 URGO grant for mentoring a student summer research project focusing on the religious beliefs and fiction of American author Flannery O’Connor
- October 2006 $500 Interface Technology Grant for Environmental Education
- 2001-2002 Recipient of the Arthur J. Schmitt Fellowship, Marquette University
Leadership Roles, Professional Development, and Service Work
- 2013-present Director of Augsburg College’s Writing Across the Curriculum Program
- 2012-present Fulbright Peer Review Committee Member
- 2012-present Director of Undergraduate Research for Humanities, Fine Arts, and Social Sciences, Augsburg College
- 2012-present Humanities Faculty Member for the College Academic Assessment Committee, Augsburg College
- 2012-2013 Augsburg College Center for Teaching and Learning Fellow
- 2011-2012 Director of Undergraduate Summer Research, Augsburg College
- 2009-Present Core Member of the Augsburg College Environmental Studies Faculty
- 2005-2008 Member of the Augsburg Learning Communities Team
- 2004-present Member of the Augsburg College Honors Council
- 2003- Present Content-Area Supervisor for English Education Student Teachers
- 2003-2009 Faculty Member of the Admissions and Enrollment Committee
- 2003-2012 Director of the Augsburg College High School Invitational Reading