University Writing Program Faculty & Staff

For questions relating to First Year Writing, please email Richard Colby at;

For questions related to the University Writing Center, please email Juli Parrish at

For all other questions, email


Our People

Meet the faculty and staff that comprise the University Writing Program.

  • Brad Benz
    Brad Benz

    Since 2010, Brad Benz has been a faculty member in the Writing Program. He teaches Advanced Seminar, First-Year Seminar, Environmental Writing, and WRIT 1122/1133. His research focuses on mentoring, green rhetoric, genre, and writing across the curriculum. He lives in Denver with his daughter and their dog. 

    Teaching Professor 
    PhD, University of Washington 
    Office: AAC 380K
    Phone: 303-871-7608 

    Benz website: 

  • Russell Brakefield
    Russell Brakefield

    My approach to teaching is tied to a strong belief in writing as a social act, an opportunity for connection, community, and activism. The act of making, for many, is both revolutionary and sustaining. I am also a maker myself, of music, poetry, fiction, and essays. These are my passions, and these passions have given me a voice and provided me a community. In my courses, I ask students to write about their own passions and interests, to consider the role writing and research plays in their communities. I'm also passionate about the environment and about the relationship between environmentalism and social justice. I often invite students to develop writing and research projects that explore these relationships and offer potential modes of social action around causes of environmental collapse as well as environmental justice issues in their communities.  

    Teaching Assistant Professor 
    MFA, University of Michigan 
    Office: AAC 380Q 
    Phone: 303-871-7519 

  • Jennifer Campbell
    Jennifer Campbell

    Jennifer Campbell has been a dedicated teacher of undergraduate writing and student advocate for over 25 years and joined the DU Writing Program in 2006. Her teaching, scholarship, and service interests include: writing and well-being; inclusive pedagogy; technical and professional writing; writing across the curriculum; curriculum and assessment; and transfer student support. Campbell served as our first Assistant Director for First-Year Writing, helped develop the Minor in Writing Practices, and co-authored Situating Research, a textbook for WRIT 1133. She has worked extensively at the University level on shared governance and general education revision and is currently Chair of the Academic Planning Committee of the Faculty Senate. 

    Teaching Professor 
    PhD, Auburn University 
    Office: AAC 381B 
    Phone: 303-871-7698 

  • Sheila Carter-Tod
    Sheila Carter-Tod

    Sheila Carter-Tod teaches composition theory and pedagogy courses, courses in rhetoric and race and first-year writing courses. She is the director of the Black Studies Minor and teaches introduction to Black Studies and the Black Studies capstone course.  Disciplinarily, she has chaired and served on numerous NCTE’s committees, and held leadership roles on CCC and CWPA’s executive boards and committees. She has published in College Composition and Communication, Enculturation, Composition Studies, Council of Journal of Writing Program Administration and others. In her research teaching, service and outreach, she works to create equitable, visible and accessible structures and infrastructures. 

    Executive Director, University Writing  Program 
    Professor, Department of English and Literary Arts 

    PhD, Virginia Tech 
    Office: AAC 282B  
    Phone: 303-871-7447 

  • Libby Catchings
    Libby Catchings

    For me, writing delivers both self-knowledge and "poetic world-making" (Warner 2002) - a techne that makes every classroom encounter an opportunity for re-imagining our potential as ethical rhetorical agents. I think teaching writing also requires a sense of play, and an awareness of the materiality of both our bodies and the writing process. For that reason, I incorporate a variety of visual, sonic, and kinaesthetic practices into class; more often than not, you'll find crayons and voice recordings a part of the classroom experience. That multimodal disposition also informs my community-engaged research in prisons, making use of rhetorical phronēsis as a methodological framework for both fieldwork and the curation of that research. 

    Teaching Associate Professor 
    PhD, University of California, Irvine 
    Office: AAC 380F 
    Phone: 303-871-7520 

  • April Chapman-Ludwig
    April Chapman-Ludwig

    April Chapman-Ludwig has been teaching in the University Writing Program since 2007. During that time, she has taught writing courses centered around narrative rhetoric, women’s rhetorics, multimodal rhetorics, folklore, (auto)ethnographic studies, documentary, and transfer student experiences. Her current research and service center on support for transfer students. In that spirit, she was instrumental in piloting WRIT 1533, a course-specific for transfer students, and is a co-investigator on a six-year longitudinal study. She has also presented at national and international conferences including CCCC, AAC&U, RSA, and ISHR.   

    Teaching Associate Professor 
    MA, Illinois State University 
    Office: AAC 381A
    Phone: 303-871-6620 

  • Richard Colby
    Richard Colby

    Richard Colby is originally from sunny southern California, home of smog, movies, and Disneyland. His courses focus on writing in various nonfiction genres, including travel, food, and especially games. His primary research interest is the intersections between writing studies and computer, board, and card games. He has presented at numerous national conferences on writing and teaching. His most recent books include the co-edited collections The Ethics of Playing, Researching, and Teaching Games in the Writing Classroom and Rhetoric/Composition/Play through Video Games. Richard earned his PhD in Rhetoric & Writing at Bowling Green State University.

    Director of First Year Writing 
    Teaching Professor 
    PhD, Bowling Green University 
    Office: AAC 282A 
    Phone: 303-871-7702 

  • David Daniels
    David Daniels

    In the classroom, I try to create a friendly, nurturing environment that puts student processes of discovery and invention at its center. My side gig is writing and editing poetry, and I bring that spirit of collaboration and creativity into the classroom. My focus is less on producing "better writing" during the quarter but on creating better writers long-term.  Writers who are prepared to confront whatever writing situations their academic, civic, and professional lives might bring them. 

    Teaching Professor 
    MFA, Indiana University 
    Office: AAC 380G 
    Phone: 303-871-7803 

  • Rob Gilmor
    Robert Gilmor

    My main classroom focus is teaching with archives; I collaborate with librarians across the disciplines to encourage students to explore the diverse and often challenging contexts of materials that resist easy interpretation. My classes address real audiences in the DU Community with exhibits of student work in public places on campus that invite students into important conversations about public discourse and knowledge. Outside the classroom, I’ve co-lead a multi-year research project and curriculum pilot program that’s helped to created new programming for transfer students at DU, and I coordinate the Community Writing Center at The Gathering Place. My scholarship explores rhetorical theory and how university archives can shape institutional identities.
    Teaching Associate Professor 
    PhD, University of Denver 
    Office: AAC 380N 
    Phone: 303-871-7725 

  • Doug Hesse
    Doug Hesse UWP

    I've taught writing for 40 years now, which signifies two things. One, obviously, is that I've been around awhile. But more important, I think is that writing is still endlessly fascinating, and teaching still endlessly important. One of my scholarly interests is creative nonfiction: memoir, personal essay, immersive journalism, profiles, travel writing and the like. I'm fascinated with the craft and possibilities of writing, the decisions available to writers, the consequences of those decisions: the aesthetics as well as the rhetoric. This fascination informs all my teaching. I'm a past President of NCTE; past Chair of CCCC; and past President of WPA and have held other leadership roles. 

    Affiliate Faculty, Former Executive Director of Writing and Professor of English 
    PhD, University of Iowa 
    Office: Sturm Hall 4th Floor 
    Phone: 303-871-2266 

  • Matthew Hill
    Matthew Hill

    Be it through remix videos, essays and written research, soundscapes and scripted podcasts, or my current experiments with analogue/board games, I encourage students to write in different contexts. Outside the classroom my current projects include games as rhetorical theory and a research project about the histories of sound and rhetorical violence.

    Teaching Associate Professor 
    ABD, Michigan Technological University 
    Office: AAC 380J 
    Phone: 303-871-7808 

  • Veronica House
    Veronica House

    Dr. Veronica House teaches community-engaged writing courses on food studies, critical food literacies, and public writing. She is Founding Director of the Conference on Community Writing and Founding CEO & Executive Director of the international non-profit the Coalition for Community Writing. Veronica is also co-editor of the Community Literacy Journal. She enjoys consulting with faculty at colleges and universities across the country to design community-engaged courses and programs.

    Veronica is the author of several books and articles on local food movements, community engaged work in higher education, and connections between language and power. She is recipient of Campus Compact's Engaged Scholar Award; University of Colorado's Women Who Make A Difference Award; and numerous teaching awards.  

    Teaching Associate Professor 
    PhD, University of Texas at Austin 
    Office: AAC 380T 
    Phone: 303-871-7573 

  • Megan Kelly
    Megan J. Kelly

    Megan J. Kelly is Teaching Professor in the Writing Program at the University of Denver. Her pedagogy is deeply influenced by her time working in writing centers, both as a graduate student and as the former Assistant Director of the DU Writing Center. She teaches classes on storytelling for social change, writing for well-being, and training peer tutors in antiracist and anti-ableist practices. In her service and scholarship, she is further committed to supporting students and faculty as writers. Her current research project centers the experiences of disabled and neurodivergent students in writing classes. The founding faculty advisor for the student organization Divest DU, she is also invested in the rhetorical work of student activists in the climate justice movement. As Program Coordinator for Faculty Writing Support, she organizes and facilitates faculty writing groups and retreats.
    Teaching Professor 
    ABD, University of Washington 
    Office: AAC 380E 
    Phone: 303-871-7507 

  • Kamila Kinyon
    Kamila Kinyon

    In my classes, I encourage students to draw on their diverse backgrounds and interests in shaping meaningful argumentative and personal writing. My teaching has focused on the rhetoric of journalism, oral history, and ethnography, which has also been a subject of my research and service. I am a member of the DU Ethnography Lab (DUEL) which supports students, faculty, and community partners in conducting socially engaged ethnographic work. My work with DUEL has led to several conferences and publications, including an article for The Annals of Anthropological Practice and a chapter for the 2020/21 IWAC proceedings. Other teaching and research interests include Slavic Studies, immigration, multilingual writing, and visual rhetoric. 

    Teaching Professor 
    PhD, University of Chicago 
    Office: AAC 380W 
    Phone: 303-871-7831 

  • Calley Marotta
    Calley Marotta

    I am a former K-12 special education teacher and current Teaching Assistant Professor at the University of Denver. I am also a mother, Midwestern white woman, writer, partner, and friend. My courses focus on writing, language, and disability justice and ask students to make interventions toward a more just writing and research future. I also seek to be a co-conspirator who collaborates with students as a mentor, co-teacher, and co-researcher to center students’ lived experiences in teaching and research.

    In my scholarship, I mix research and creative writing with participatory and ethnographic methods to value the literacies and knowledges of people who do essential labor and carework like custodial work and childcare. My scholarship has been supported by the Spencer Education Foundation and has been published in Research in the Teaching of English, Inside Higher Education, the Community Literacy Journal, and The Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics. I am grateful to scholarly lineages like Chicana feminist, womanist, and critical race theorists that have informed my work along with mentors in education including the students, families, and co-researchers I have worked with over the years.

    On weekends you will find me drawing and playing dress-up with my daughter.

    Teaching Assistant Professor 
    PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison
    Office: AAC 380R 
    Phone: 303-871-7484

  • Heather N. Martin
    Heather Martin

    A writing professor for over twenty years, Heather N. Martin, Ph.D., centers the mutual exchange of ideas in her classroom. Inviting students to research and write about subjects like stand-up, comedy, food access, and wellness, Dr. Martin uses a mentoring approach to foster inclusive learning environments for all writers. Many of her classes are community-engaged, wherein students are invited to explore greater Denver and likewise learn from experiences in the field. At the end of the day, Dr. Martin’s primary goal is to support students on their journey to becoming thoughtful, intentional, and effective writers.

    Teaching Professor 
    PhD, University of Denver 
    Office: AAC 380B 
    Phone: 303-871-7837 

  • Logan Middleton
    Logan Middleton

    Logan Middleton is a Teaching Assistant Professor in the University Writing Program. He earned his PhD in English with a concentration in writing studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2022. Logan’s research is located at the intersections of abolition and community literacies, where he seeks to identify and combat carceral logics of surveillance, obfuscation, and control in educational settings. In his teaching, Logan encourages students to experiment with multimodal meaning-making and also strives to center justice-oriented forms of community learning and praxis.

    Teaching Assistant Professor 
    PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Office: AAC 380A
    Phone: 303-871-7566

  • Alfred Owusu-Ansah
    Alfred Owusu-Ansah

    Alfred Owusu-Ansah joined DU’s Writing Program after earning his PhD from Michigan Technological University. Having worked with many francophone and international students, he has years of experience teaching writing classes to people who use English as an additional language. He is currently the lead instructor for the Writing Program’s English for Academic Purposes course. Alfred’s research and teaching seeks to amplify the voices of missing people – people whose writing and knowledge making practices are usually overlooked. His research seeks to argue for a broader understanding of literacy-in-action by advancing a posthman pedagogy for writing and programming. He has a paper in Composition Studies that discusses implications of generative AI on users of postcolonial varieties of English. His work with STEM faculty has led to co-authoring publications in IEEE Frontiers in Education and IEEE International Conference in Professional Communication. Alfred has previously served on the committee that directs the activities of the CCCC’s Writing and Rhetoric of Code group.  

    Teaching Assistant Professor 
    PhD, Michigan Technological University
    Office: AAC 380X
    Phone: 303-871-7727

  • Juli Parrish
    Juli Parrish

    Juli Parrish is a Teaching Professor of Writing and Director of the University Writing Center. She earned her PhD in English with a concentration in literacy and pedagogy from the University of Pittsburgh in 2007. Juli’s research focuses on writing center theory and practice and on archives of unpublished writing by students; her work has appeared in Across the Disciplines, WLN Journal of Writing Center Scholarship, South Atlantic Review, and multiple edited collections, including her co-edited book, Literacy and Pedagogy in an Age of Misinformation and Disinformation. She is a co-editor of Literacy in Composition Studies and currently serves as president of the Rocky Mountain Writing Centers Association.  
    Director, University Writing Center 
    Teaching Professor 
    PhD, University of Pittsburgh 
    Office: AAC 282C 
    Phone: 303-871-7431 

  • LP Picard
    LP Picard

    LP Picard (she/her) is a Teaching Professor in the University Writing Program. Since joining DU in 2012, LP has taught WRIT and FSEM courses themed around the popular artifacts that shape, reflect, and constitute human culture. LP’s writing assignments are open-ended and narrative-driven which 1) allows students to refine their unique writerly voices and 2) encourages students to take ownership of their intellectual and creative pursuits.

    Outside of the classroom, LP is involved in projects that showcase and celebrate student authors. Her research interests include student agency, authenticity in writing classrooms, and the rhetorical opportunities of drag performance (for which she draws upon her experiences as a local performer and show organizer). LP earned the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2021.

    Teaching Professor 
    MFA, Emerson College 
    Office: AAC 380P 
    Phone: 303-871-7505 

  • David Riche
    David Riche

    David Riche (he/him) is a Teaching Associate Professor in the University Writing Program. Since joining the program in 2016, he has taught a wide range of courses, including seminar-style classes about rhetorical theory, creative nonfiction, analog games, and the transfer student experience. As a teacher, David emphasizes the importance of rhetorical awareness, creative thinking, and student-centered authorship. As a scholar, he works at the intersection of writing studies, game studies, and contemporary rhetorical theory; his scholarship appears in Literacy in Composition Studies, Best of the Journals in Rhetoric and Composition 2019, and a forthcoming collection on teaching with analog games.
    Teaching Associate Professor 
    PhD, Louisiana State University 
    Office: AAC 380Z 
    Phone: 303-871-3259 

  • Rebekah Shultz Colby
    Rebekah Shultz Colby

    Since becoming a member of the DU Writing Program in 2006, Rebekah Shultz Colby’s research and teaching has examined how digital media, especially games, deepens rhetoric, writing, research, and pedagogy. She co-edited two collections, The Ethics of Playing, Researching, and Teaching Games in the Writing Classroom and Rhetoric/Composition/Play through Video Games. She is writing a book exploring how teachers use games to teach writing nationally and has articles in Computers and Composition and Technical Communication Quarterly adapted from two chapters. As a member of the CCCCs Council for Play and Game Studies, she is organizing C’s the Day. She earned her PhD in Rhetoric & Writing at Bowling Green State University.

    Teaching Professor 
    PhD, Bowling Green University 
    Office: AAC 380Y 
    Phone: 303-871-7597 

  • Angela Sowa
    Angela Sowa

    I enjoy helping students discover how to more effectively share their passions and perspectives through rhetoric. My classes often focus on genre theory and reflective practices as ways to promote transfer - I want students to use what the learn in my classes in contexts far beyond the bounds of their academic careers. My research interests include the relationship between gender and religious writing; social justice and literacy; and promoting writing transfer through self-assessment and reflective genres. 
    Teaching Professor 
    PhD, Texas Christian University 
    Office: AAC 380C 
    Phone: 303-871-7704 

  • Geoffrey Stacks
    Geoffrey Stacks

    I earned my Ph.D. in American literature at Purdue University. Since 2006, I have been teaching composition and rhetoric here at DU. I also enjoy helping in the Writing Center, doing research on Writing Center practices, and birdwatching.
    Teaching Professor 
    PhD, Purdue University 
    Office: AAC 380L 
    Phone: 303-871-7607 

  • Jesse Stommel
    Jesse Stommel

    I've been teaching for over 20 years, and I'm also a documentary filmmaker, co-owner of a toy / game store, and dad to a rascal 6-year-old. I design courses that ask students to look closer. For me, the purpose of a writing course, a pedagogy course, a digital studies course, is to encourage students to engage more thoughtfully with their world. Writing is a practice and a process, thus the "-ing" on the end of the word. In my courses, we focus on the inventing, the doing, and the revising--not as much on the finishing, the being done. Writing is a tool, a medium we use to engage our subjects, however we also consider the nature of writing itself. I teach about games, maker-culture, film, horror, and queer rhetorics. I also teach courses focused on "writing about teaching" and "teaching about writing." 
    Teaching Associate Professor 
    PhD, University of Colorado Boulder 
    Office: AAC 380H 
    Phone: 303-871-7705 
    Twitter: @Jessifer

  • John Tiedemann
    John Tiedemann

    Writing allows us to think critically, to imagine, and to engage with world. In class, I encourage students to do all three of these things simultaneously. 
    Teaching Associate Professor 
    ABD, University of Wisconsin-Madison 
    Office: AAC 380U 

  • Amanda Thompson
    Amanda Thompson

    Amanda joined the University Writing Program as Program Manager in March 2023 after working in the Daniels College of Business for over three years.  She loves working with faculty and students at all stages of their educational journeys.  

    Program Manager 
    MA, University of Oklahoma
    Office: AAC 282
    Phone: 303-871-7448

  • Olivia Tracy
    Olivia Tracy

    Olivia R. Tracy is a teaching assistant professor in the Writing Program and currently serves as assistant director of the Writing Center. Her teaching and research explore rhetoric and gender in technical writing, especially recipes, cookbooks, and botanical and medical texts. She also advocates for access in writing centers and writing classrooms, particularly through embodied and spatial practices. Her work has appeared in WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship, Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, and The Journal of Haitian Studies. Whether in the classroom or in consultations, she seeks to help writers compose across diverse rhetorical situations and discover the practices that benefit their individual writing processes.

    Assistant Director, University Writing Center 
    Teaching Assistant Professor  
    PhD, University of Denver 
    Office: AAC 380M
    Phone: 303-871-7950 

  • Nicole Turnipseed
    Nicole Turnipseed

    Nicole (Niki) Turnipseed joined the University Writing Program as a Teaching Assistant Professor in 2022  Broadly, Niki studies holistic literate development across disciplines, spaces, and lifeworlds. Her recent research includes work on a National Science Foundation funded transdisciplinary action research and mentoring project called Writing Across Engineering and Science (WAES) and a cross-institutional, ethnographic study of cross-disciplinary social justice programs in higher education. Her scholarship, teaching, and service are committed to cultivating open, equitable, and collaborative environments where community members are empowered to develop and express their individual and collective capacities as learners, teachers, and historical change agents.

    Teaching Assistant Professor 
    PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
    Office: AAC 380V 
    Phone: 303-871-7518

Adjunct Faculty

Our adjunct faculty members also teach courses in the University Writing Program, but their primary assignments or responsibilities are outside the school.

  • Marisa G. Alger
    Marisa Alger

    With a background in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), I’ve worked with students from all over the world, from teaching English literacy to Buddhist nuns in rural Nepal to helping international business school students with their research papers and cover letters. My graduate research focused on utilizing creative writing and reflection exercises to make first-year college writing more engaging and meaningful for students. I aim to help students discover and develop their own writing (and thinking) process through discussion, collaboration, connection, reflection and joy. 

    MA, Johns Hopkins University
    Office: AAC 356
    Email: marisa 

  • Fredrica Eduaful
    Fredrica Eduaful

    Fredrica Markson Eduaful is the STEM Writing Support Initiative project manager and an adjunct. She holds an MA in Philosophy from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana and is currently completing her Ph.D. in Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture at Michigan Technological University. Fredrica is an award-winning instructor with years of experience teaching composition and technical communication to college students.  She is particularly interested in the use of rhetorical and social justice perspectives in science and technical communication. Furthermore, she has previously worked as an assistant editor of College English, a journal published by the National Council of Teachers of English. In addition to completing her Ph.D. and managing the SWSI, she is researching rhetorical power in science communication. She recently co-authored a chapter on how ineffective metaphorical choices undermined health communication during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Project Manager, STEM Writing Support Initiative
    Adjunct Faculty , University Writing Program
    ABD, Michigan Technological University 
    Office: AAC 331
    Phone: 303-871-3198 

  • Tor Ehler

    PhD, University of Denver
    Office: AAC 356

  • Jonathan W. Fowler

    MA, University of Wisconsin
    Office: AAC 356

  • Amanda Meier
    Amanda Meier

    My approach to teaching writing and rhetoric is deeply rooted in my background as a linguist. In my courses, we don’t just write essays; we interrogate our own writing practices and try to understand the unique practices of different discourse communities. I’m constantly curious about how language choices shape our identity, influence social dynamics, and how we use language to define ourselves or set ourselves apart from others. Outside of school, I’m a mom to an amazing little human who wants to be a librarian and a paleontologist when she grows up. I’m a science fiction nerd, a competitive tennis player, and an experimental baker.

    MA, Columbia University
    Office: AAC 356

  • Carrie Taylor

    PhD, The University of Chicago
    Office: AAC 356


  • Carol Samson

    Teaching Associate Professor Emerita

    PhD English/Creative Writing, University of Denver