Writing Program Faculty & Staff

Our People

Meet the faculty that comprise the DU Writing Program.

  • Brad Benz

    Since 2010, Brad Benz (he/him) has been a faculty member in Writing Program. He teaches FSEM, ASEM, Environmental Writing, and WRIT 1122/1133. His research focuses on green rhetoric, genre, writing across the curriculum, and mentoring. He lives in Denver with his daughter and their dog. 

    Benz Website: https://bpbenz.com   

    Teaching Professor 
    PhD, University of Washington 
    Office: AAC 380K 
    Phone: 303-871-7608 
    Email: bradley.benz@du.edu 
    Website: https://bpbenz.com 

  • 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 
    Email: russell.brakefield@du.edu

  • Jennifer Campbell

    Jennifer Campbell has been a dedicated writing instructor and student advocate for 23 years. Since joining the DU Writing Program in 2006, her teaching, scholarship, and service have emphasized: curriculum and assessment; inclusive pedagogy; writing and well-being; multimodal composing; ePortfolios; technical and professional writing; developing and teaching in the Minor in Writing Practices; writing across the curriculum; writing program administration; faculty development and reviews; and longitudinal research. Campbell served as Assistant Director for First-Year Writing and co-authored Situating Research, a text for WRIT 1133. She has worked extensively at the University level and is Chair of the Academic Planning Committee, Co-chair of the General Education Revision Committee and Faculty Covid Accommodations Committee, and Mountain Campus Committee member. Campbell is also Vice President of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. 

    Teaching Professor 
    PhD, Auburn University 
    Office: AAC 381B 
    Phone: 303-871-7698 
    Email: jennifer.campbell@du.edu

  • Sheila Carter-Tod

    Executive Director of Writing and Professor of English 
    PhD, Virginia Tech 
    Office: 282 B Anderson Academic Commons 
    Phone: 303-871-7447 
    Email: Sheila.Carter-Tod@du.edu

  • 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 Assistant Professor 
    PhD, University of California, Irvine 
    Office: AAC 380F 
    Phone: 303-871-7520 
    Email: Elizabeth.Catchings@du.edu

  • 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 regional and national conferences, including CCCC, NCTE, and RSA.   

    Teaching Assistant Professor 
    MA, Illinois State University 
    Office: AAC 380R 
    Phone: 303-871-6620 
    Email: april.chapman-ludwig@du.edu

  • 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.

    Assistant Director of First Year Writing 
    Teaching Professor 
    PhD, Bowling Green University 
    Office: AAC 380X 
    Phone: 303-871-7702 
    Email: richard.colby@du.edu 

  • 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 longterm, 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 
    Email: david.j.daniels@du.edu

  • Rob 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 Assistant Professor 
    PhD, University of Denver 
    Office: AAC 380N 
    Phone: 303-871-7725 
    Email: robert.gilmor@du.edu

  • Sarah Hart Micke

    Concerned with relationships between language and responsibility, my teaching and scholarship focus on the intersections of rhetoric and ethics. My teaching emphasizes writing for and listening to diverse audiences, often in community-engaged contexts, such as service learning projects at local schools. My scholarship explores rhetorical and ethical theories and their applications in arenas ranging from lyric poetry to pedagogy to civic life. 
     
    Teaching Associate Professor 
    PhD, Texas A&M University 
    Office: AAC 380D 
    Phone: 303-871-7966 
    Email: Sarah.HartMicke@du.edu

  • Doug Hesse

    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 
    Email: dhesse@du.edu 

  • Veronica House

    Dr. Veronica House founded the Conference on Community Writing in 2015 and launched the Coalition for Community Writing in 2018, currently serving as Founding CEO and Executive Director.  Veronica is also co-editor of the Community Literacy Journal.  

    Before joining the faculty at DU in 2021, Veronica was faculty in the Program for Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Colorado Boulder for 15 years where she served as Associate Faculty Director for Service-Learning and Outreach and founder of CU’s Writing Initiative for Service and Engagement.   

    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 Assistant Professor 
    PhD, University of Texas at Austin 
    Office: AAC 380T 
    Phone: 303-871-7573 
    Email: Veronica.House@du.edu

  • Matthew Hill

    I've been at DU for 11 years now and attempt to engage students in multiple media and genres of writing. Be it through remix and podcasts, or essays and research projects, or my current experiments with analogue/board games, I allow students opportunities to learn how writing works in different contexts. Outside the classroom my current projects include community writing instruction and a research project about the history of sound and rhetorical violence. 
     
    Teaching Associate Professor 
    ABD, Michigan Technological University 
    Office: AAC 380J 
    Phone: 303-871-7808 
    Email: matthew.a.hill@du.edu

  • Megan Kelly

    Megan J. Kelly is a teaching professor in the Writing Program and assistant director of the Writing Center at the University of Denver. Her work focuses on environmental communication, with a particular emphasis on the narrative and rhetorical strategies of student activists in the climate justice movement, and on training peer tutors of writing. She also facilitates writing groups and retreats for faculty. 
     
    Assistant Director of the Writing Center 
    Teaching Professor 
    ABD, University of Washington 
    Office: AAC 380E 
    Phone: 303-871-7507 
    Email: megan.j.kelly@du.edu

  • 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 Associate Professor 
    PhD, University of Chicago 
    Office: AAC 380W 
    Phone: 303-871-7831 
    Email: kamila.kinyon@du.edu 

  • Heather Martin

    Heather N. Martin, Ph.D. is a Teaching Professor in the University Writing Program and Faculty Director of the First-Year Seminar (FSEM) Program. She has been teaching at the University since 2002 and is a proud DU alumna (Ph.D., English, 2011). Dr. Martin’s research interests include writing across the curriculum, writing for wellbeing, and community-engaged teaching and learning. In addition to her role in Writing and FSEM, Dr. Martin leads faculty mentoring initiatives on campus and offers professional development workshops and coaching to faculty across the professional lifecycle.

     
    Teaching Professor 
    PhD, University of Denver 
    Office: AAC 380B 
    Phone: 303-871-7837 
    Email: heather.martin@du.edu

  • Juli Parrish

    I've been reading the essays, stories, blog entries, response papers, final projects, newspaper columns, reviews, artist statements, research papers, unpublished journals, and other work that college students write for more than 20 years, and I'm not done yet. When I read student work, I read for possibility and potential, and that practice shapes my teaching. As the DU Writing Center Director, I particularly value conversations about writing: all writers need to talk about their work, and all students are writers. 
     
    Director of the Writing Center 
    Teaching Professor 
    PhD, University of Pittsburgh 
    Office: AAC 282C 
    Phone: 303-871-7431 
    Email: juli.parrish@du.edu

  • Lauren Picard

    In and out of the classroom, I strive to put student writing first. My open-ended assignments are designed to 1) allow students to develop and refine their writerly voices, and 2) encourage students to take ownership of their intellectual pursuits. I am also involved with many projects, both within the Writing Program and across the university, that showcase and celebrate the work of our undergraduate authors. I am a managing editor of WRIT Large, a journal of undergraduate writing and research, and the Director of DU IMPACT 2025's One Book, One DU program. 
     
    Teaching Associate Professor 
    MFA, Emerson College 
    Office: AAC 380P 
    Phone: 303-871-7505 
    Email: lpicard@du.edu

  • Joe Ponce

    Joe Ponce, MFA, is the Office Manager of the University Writing Program and Writing Center. He has been working at DU since 2019. Joe’s interests include anti-racist creative writing workshops and critical race theory in creative writing. In addition to his work as office manager, he teaches creative writing at Lighthouse Writing Workshop. 


    Office Manager 
    MFA, Columbia University 
    Office: AAC 282 
    Phone: 
    Email: joe.ponce@du.edu 

  • David Riche

    I have been teaching in the University Writing Program since 2016. During that time, I have taught writing courses centered around classical rhetorics, multimodal rhetorics, New Literacy Studies, game studies, creative nonfiction, and transfer student experiences. My ongoing research focuses on analog game studies, contemporary rhetorical theory, and rhetorical vulnerability; my scholarship has been published in Literacy in Composition Studies and republished in The Best of the Journals in Rhetoric and Composition. I have also presented at multiple regional and national conferences, including CCCC and RSA.  
     
    Teaching Assistant Professor 
    PhD, Louisiana State University 
    Office: AAC 380Z 
    Phone: 303-871-3259 
    Email: David.Riche@du.edu

  • Carol Samson

    Teaching Associate Professor Emerita 
    Ph.D. English/Creative Writing 
    University of Denver

  • 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 forthcoming articles in Computers and Composition and Technical Communication Quarterly adapted from two chapters. As chair of the CCCCs Council for Play and Game Studies, she organized 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 
    Email: rebekah.shultzcolby@du.edu 
    Online Portfolio

  • 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 Associate Professor 
    PhD, Texas Christian University 
    Office: AAC 380C 
    Phone: 303-871-7704 
    Email: angela.sowa@du.edu

  • Geoffrey Stacks

    I am interested in teaching a class that emphasizes critical thinking and analysis. I enjoy challenging students to think better and more carefully about the choices they make when writing. My own scholarly interests include postmodern and contemporary American literature. 
     
    Teaching Associate Professor 
    PhD, Purdue University 
    Office: AAC 380L 
    Phone: 303-871-7607 
    Email: gstacks@du.edu

  • 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 5-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 Assistant Professor 
    PhD, University of Colorado Boulder 
    Office: AAC 380H 
    Phone: 303-871-7705 
    Email: Jesse.Stommel@du.edu 
    Twitter: @Jessifer

  • Kara Taczak

    Kara Taczak is a Teaching Professor and the current co-editor of Composition Studies. Her research centers on composition theory and pedagogy, specifically teaching for transfer and reflective practices. Taczak’s upcoming work will appear in Writing Spaces, International Journal of Work-Integrated (IJWIL), and Composition Forum. Outside of scholarly and teacherly pursuits, she enjoys Crossfit and yoga as well as binging (and re-binging) any of The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and hangin’ with her super high maintenance dogs, Tilly and Tally.
     
    Teaching Associate Professor 
    PhD, Florida State University 
    Office: AAC 380S 
    Phone: 303-871-7536 
    Email: kara.taczak@du.edu

  • 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 
    Phone: 303-871-7609 
    Email: john.tiedemann@du.edu 

Adjunct Faculty

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

  • Tor Ehler

    PhD, University of Denver 
    Email: tehler@du.edu

  • Amanda Grell

    I began teaching in K-12 education, and those practices and habits have informed my teaching in higher ed, as well. I value the concept of praxis, where theory meets reality and action. In class I hope to create a community of writers, all of us working to understand what others communicate, all of us focusing on invention as a tool for participating in larger conversations, and all of us participating in iterative practice, revision, and reflection. My hope is that we all will develop meaningful thinking and writing processes that we can carry forward into life beyond our classroom. 
     
    MEd, Vanderbilt; MA, University of Colorado at Denver 
    Email: amanda.grell@du.edu

  • Nicole Parker

    My name is Nicole Parker, and I am a geek for all things rhetoric and writing! I take the role of writing teacher very seriously. After all, the invention of writing fundamentally altered how we think, allowing us to come up with (and pass around) abstract ideas. And writing makes it possible for those ideas to be transported across time and space, allowing scholars, scientists, and craftsmen to build upon the legacies of those that came before. Writing is a gatekeeper of power and privilege, and rhetorical awareness–understanding how we are being persuaded, and how we can persuade–has become a survival skill for the modern human. And more than anything, writing is personal; it allows us to be heard and known. Writing can facilitate understanding…or destroy it. I hope that my students walk away from my course with a better understanding of the nature of language and writing, more awareness of the writing situations, and, more than anything, greater confidence in their own voices and ability to navigate the written word.  
     
    MA, University of Tennessee Chattanooga 
    Email: nicole.parker@du.edu

  • Olivia Tracy

    As a writer and teacher of writing, I've worked alongside writers, from first-year undergraduates to graduate students to staff and tenured faculty, in writing centers, composition and literature courses, marketing and communications offices, and writing workshops at universities across Colorado. My research and publications explore how writers employ bodies and objects to achieve rhetorical goals in various texts and practices, including recipes and cookbooks, medical and technical documents, and writing consultations. My work has appeared in Praxis: A Writing Center Journal and the Journal of Haitian Studies, and on departmental websites and feature articles for DU's College of Arts, Humanities and Social SciencesIn the University Writing Program, I've taught WRIT courses focusing on annotation and possibility, architecture and argument, and the rhetoric of cookbooks. Whether in the classroom or in consultations, I focus on helping writers to develop their understandings of the unique rhetorical situations surrounding communication, and to discover the practices that benefit their individual writing processes.

     

    PhD, University of Denver

    Email: olivia.tracy@du.edu 

  • Jonathan W. Fowler

    MA, University of Wisconsin

    email: Jonathan.Fowler@du.edu