Bienvenidos! Welcome to the Rhetoric and Writing Studies Program in the Department of English at The University of Texas at El Paso. As a native El Pasoan, I consider myself a product of the U.S.-Mexico border. As such, I seek to connect academia with our border community and explore venues that will allow students to practice what they are learning in the classroom in real workplace settings.
My current scholarship explores key challenges that face theorists and practitioners of community writing and service-learning in writing studies. However, my research crosses over to other disciplines since I seek answers to the following questions: How can service-learning and writing be integrated across the curriculum? What are the potential problems with this? What are the challenges? What are the benefits? A sub-topic of my scholarship deals with second-language learners and minority students and how service-learning paves the way for multiliteracies. My research addresses community literacy needs and how academia can help meet these needs.
My major publication, Service-Learning and Writing: Paving the Way for Literacy(ies) through Community Engagement is an edited collection that demonstrates how writing instruction and/or writing practice can complement community engagement and outreach in local, national, and international contexts. Recent projects include conference presentations, workshops, chapters, and journal articles on service-learning and how this teaching and learning method should be integrated and used in and outside the writing classroom. In addition, my current research explores mentoring venues and efforts for Latino/a students and other minorities in Rhetoric and Writing Studies.
I founded and direct the Community Writing Partners program in the Department of English. Having recruited over twenty non-profit organizations in varying fields such as health, literacy, immigration, and advocacy, I place students in internships, senior and graduate practica, and service-learning projects. I also co-direct the Bilingual Professional Writing Certificate program and teach English-Spanish bilingual sections of Technical Writing and Workplace Writing. In addition, I teach for the fully online Technical and Professional Writing Certificate program.
As a Latina and community-engaged scholar, I love to explore literacies and study the intersection between higher education and the community. Together, the university and the community, can cultivate strong, civically-engaged students and professionals. When not at work, I enjoy reading and discussing literary works with my college son, traveling, spending time with my parents, and participating in community events.