I’ve done a lot of things over the past ten years, not all of them great or amazing, but all of them fun. My life is purposefully an endless learning adventure in several directions, and sometimes I try to pass that same desire onto other people.
Here are just a couple of things you should know about me:
I built my first client site in 2011 using WordPress and have worked with numerous organizations since then to develop digital strategies using a variety of technologies.
During that same time, I worked for the Digital Education Collaborative at Longwood University, first as a graduate student, then as an Instructional Technologist. In this role I was involved in online course development and supported numerous ed tech systems like Canvas, WordPress, GoogleApps and Echo360.
My responsibilities trended towards technical trainings, graphic/web development tasks, and third-party systems integrations. However, this was really a jack-of-all-trades position that gave me a lot of exposure to different roles in technology-focused endeavors, even some cutting edge ones like 3D printing.
I ended up doing a lot of cool data analysis work with the Canvas LMS to analyze usage and determine training and support opportunities. Up until that point, I’d always thought that “making” the technology was something that really “technical” people did, not something that English majors could do.
I presented my work at a local Virginia IT conference in higher ed, and one of the engineers in attendance emailed me the day after asking to see the code for my work, because it was in his words, “really cool.”
Someone’s extra five minutes and two silly words were enough to give me the confidence to look for full time development roles. Since early 2016, I’ve been working full time as a software developer for Virginia Farm Bureau in Richmond, VA.
I still do occasional consulting and typically try to do one-two pro bono websites a year for good organizations. I love working with young small businesses and start-ups, so drop me a line if you’d like to work together.
In many ways, teaching has given me a great complementary parallel to the technical work I’ve been doing for the last several years. During undergrad, I had a concentration in Secondary Education and hold a VA State Teacher’s License English 6-12 to this day.
Since 2010, I’ve taught private guitar and music lessons to kids and adults at Buffalo Creek Guitar Company. I’d estimate over the years a 1-2 thousand hours of contact with music students. This has given me a lot of insight into how people learn topics that are both intellectual and physical.
Instead of working in public ed, I decided to stay in school and get an M.A. in English focusing on the intersections of technology, education, and textual studies. During this time, I really refined my research skills, worked with the DEC (see above) doing ed tech support, and continued to teach guitar regularly.
After finishing my M.A. in 2013, I have taught for Longwood University as an adjunct in online, hybrid, face-to-face, and in study-away formats. I’d estimate roughly 15-20 total sections of courses in Writing and Research, English Grammar, English Pedagogy, and Interdisciplinary Research.
During the summer of 2013, I was the co-director of the Talented and Gifted Program on Longwood’s campus. I supervised 12 teachers and ran the program for 200+ students from the surrounding counties.
I try to get into the classroom still a few times a year and will be looking for some opportunities to start doing some technical teaching in the near future.