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Department of English

Faculty & Staff

English Program Graduate Instructors/Teaching Assistants

Timothy Amidon [timothy_amidon@mail.uri.edu] is a Ph.D. candidate in Writing at the University of Rhode Island. He received his M.A. from Indiana University in 2007 with a thesis titled “Institutional Authors, Institutional Texts? An Analysis of the Intellectual Property Policies Promulgated at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne and Its Peer Institutions.” He has published poetry in Confluence Literary Magazine, The Margin, and Cobalt Fuse. Amidon has presented presentations at scholarly conferences across the country, including the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) and Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW). Intellectual Interests Include: The Intersection of Intellectual Property/Copyright and the Composition Classroom, The History/Evolution of Copyright, Open Source Authorship/Publishing, 16th Century, Restoration, and Enlightenment Period British Literature, and Cyberpunk/Science Fiction. Amidon teaches in the Writing Program and in the English Program at University of Rhode Island.

Gregory Landon Bagnall [gregory_bagnall@my.uri.edu] is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English at the University of Rhode Island. He received his M.A. in English and American Literature from the University of Houston in 2010. He teaches writing and literature at URI and has taught English within the Katy Independent School District in Katy, Texas. He has presented papers at URI, Tufts, DePaul, UC Berkeley, Governors State, Roger Williams University, and MAPACA. His current research interests include gender studies and the digital humanities, with particular emphasis on gender/transgender transition narratives, non-normative representation and queerness in video games, Internet culture, and the intersection between the self and virtuality.

Kenna Barrett [cbarrett@my.uri.edu] is a Ph.D. candidate in Writing at University of Rhode Island and a URI Graduate School Fellow for 2013-14. Her dissertation is entitled, "Revisiting Assessment: Automated Essay Scoring and the Computationalist Paradigm." She has twice served as an individual presenter at the Conference on College Composition and Communication and her work has appeared in Composition Studies. Barrett is also an accomplished grantwriter and a freelance writer with short stories and essays featured in the Battered Suitcase, Branford Seven, and the New Haven Advocate. She received her M.A. in Philosophy from the University of California, San Diego. Barrett teaches in the Writing Program and in the English Program at University of Rhode Island.

Katelyn Burton [katelyn_burton@my.uri.edu] is currently a third-year PhD student in the URI Department of English, specializing in Writing & Rhetoric. She received her MA in English with a concentration in Composition & Rhetoric at Pittsburg State University. Burton has presented scholarly work at PSU, KSU, and URI. Her current research interests include digital media and its potential for pedagogical applications, food and everyday rhetorics, as well as feminist theory. She is currently teaching in the Writing Program at the University of Rhode Island.

Meghan Fair [mjfair@my.uri.edu] is a Ph.D. candidate in Literature with a concentration in Victorian Studies. Meghan earned a MA in Literature and Writing from the University of Massachusetts Boston and has an undergraduate degree in English from Skidmore College. She taught writing for several years at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Presently, Meghan's literary interests are centered on the ways through which the Victorian novel addresses and/or accounts for social problems, including topics related to cultural assimilation, the working poor and the working woman. Her other interests include pedagogy in both the writing and literature classrooms and literary modernism.

Amy Foley [amy_foley@my.uri.edu] is a Ph.D. student in the URI Department of English, specializing in Literature and Culture. She received her M.A. in English from State University of New York at Oswego in 2008 and has a background in Communication. Amy has taught Composition, Advanced Composition, Introduction to Literature and Mythology at Rochester Institute of Technology, Roberts Wesleyan College and Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY. Her research interests include narratology, psychoanalysis and American and European modernism, specifically focusing on the works of Faulkner and Joyce. Amy teaches in the Writing Program at URI.

Ashton Foley [ashton_foley@my.uri.edu] is a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of Rhode Island. She received her M.A. in English from Simmons College, where she focused on British Literature. She also has an undergraduate background in secondary education with experience teaching in the high school classroom. Ashton's current research interests center around Victorian Literature, looking specifically at Victorian attitudes toward reading and writing, and instances of reading and writing, within Victorian novels. Ashton teaches in the Writing Program at URI.

Bridget Heaney [bridget72@my.uri.edu] is a PhD student in the URI Department of English, specializing in Writing & Rhetoric. She received her MA in English with a concentration in Technical Writing at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Her undergraduate background is in secondary education and she has taught extensively in middle and high school settings. Heaney also worked in educational software and publishing in New York City for several years. Her current research interests include social justice education, feminist rhetoric, narrative and autobiographical texts, digital pedagogy and ePortfolio design. She is currently teaching in the Writing Program at the University of Rhode Island.

Marcy Renee Isabella [marcyrenee@my.uri.edu] is a Ph.D. candidate in Writing at the University of Rhode Island. She received her M.A. in English (concentration in writing practices and poetics) from SUNY Albany in 2010 with a thesis titled "Just the Authentic Act: Dialogical No-Selfs, Per-Zine Communities, and Anarchistic Tendencies." Intellectual interests include: critical pedagogy, writing center pedagogy, and writing program assessment. Isabella teaches in the Writing Program at the University of Rhode Island.

Sarah Kruse [sarahekruse@my.uri.edu] is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at the University of Rhode Island. She is currently planning a dissertation on the lyric avant-garde, the essay, and philosophy of language. Other research interests include poetry and poetics, the lyric essay, the ordinary and everyday, literary nonfiction, modernism, deconstruction, queer theory, and philosophy and literature. In 2008, she received her M.A. in English Literature summa cum laude from Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. Kruse has presented at conferences at URI, CUNY, Columbia, Yale, and NeMLA at Rutgers, St. John Fisher College, and Tuffs. She has published her work in The International Journal of Zizek Studies, and is a staff writer for the online literary magazine Propeller. She has also taught as an adjunct faculty member at Portland State University and teaches literature and writing at URI.

J.C. Lee [jennifer_lee@my.uri.edu] is the Writing Center's acting director and a PhD candidate in writing and rhetoric. She has taught writing, literature, ESL, and oral communication prior to receiving the university's 2012-2013 graduate fellowship. Lee has presented at numerous conferences, including the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the Northeast Writing Center's Association, the Northeast Modern Language Association, the New York College English Association, and the SUNY Council on Writing, and she has attended the Rhetoric Society of America's Summer Institute. Her scholarship has been published in Association for the Study of Ethical Behavior in Literature Journal (ASEBL), Moria: A Poetry Journal, the anthology, Shopping for Jesus: Faith in Marketing in the USA, and Comparative Literature and Culture. Her research interests include new media rhetorics, discourse studies, composition studies, and public writing.

Beth Leonardo [beth_leonardo@my.uri.edu] is an M.A. candidate in English at University of Rhode Island. She received her B.A. in English from Providence College in 2011, with a minor in philosophy. Her senior thesis, entitled, "Fulfillment of Woman and Poet in Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh," discussed the relationship between womanhood and artistic vocation in the Victorian Age. She has had two short stories published in the Providence College literary magazine, The Alembic. Her intellectual interests include British Literature, specifically the relationship between knowledge and culpability in Victorian Literature as it relates to the place of women in Victorian society, and philosophy which explores the juxtaposition of beauty and violence.

Michele Meek [michelemeek@my.uri.edu] is a Ph.D. candidate in English at University of Rhode Island. She earned her M.F.A. in creative writing at Emerson College, and she has taught film, literature and writing at Boston College, Massachusetts College of Art, and Emerson College. Her scholarly work has appeared in the Tennessee Williams Annual Review and the Journal of Popular Film and Television. She founded NewEnglandFilm.com, and has published articles on film in popular publications such as MovieMaker Magazine, The Independent and indieWire. Her current research interests include contemporary American literature and film, especially as it pertains to adolescent female sexuality.

Jenny Platz [jennplatz1955@gmail.com] is a PhD Candidate in English at the University of Rhode Island. She earned her M.A. in Cinema Studies at San Francisco State University in 2011, where she concentrated on the role of women in 1970s exploitation films. She has presented at the Popular Culture Association in 2010, 2011, and 2013 in topics such as adolescents in television, feminism and fairy tales and vampire films, and authorship and the biographic film. She has also presented at Joss in June, Slayage 2012, and The First International Day of the Dead Conference. Her scholarly work has appeared in the 2012 issue of Enthymema, titled "Return to the Grindhouse: Tarantino and the modernization of 1970s Exploitation Films". Her current interests include gender and the body in video games, the representation of the female eating disorder body in film and literature, and the adaptation of J.D. Salinger's works. She has taught film studies and film theory at SFSU, film history at NOVA Community College, and teaches WRT 104 and ENG 110 at URI.

Jason Shrontz [jason_shrontz@my.uri.edu] is currently a third-year PhD student in the URI Department of English. He received his MA and MFA from Northern Michigan University with a concentration in Contemporary Literature and Fiction Writing. Shrontz has presented scholarly work on Sport and Literature at the SLA conference and on Building Communities in Online Writing Classes at Michigan Tech. His current research interests include media and information studies and transnational, contemporary fictions, particularly as they relate to concepts of the millennium. He is currently teaching in the Writing Program at the University of Rhode Island.

Kara Watts [kara_watts@my.uri.edu] is a Ph.D. candidate in English at URI. She received her M.A. in English Literature from Middlebury College in 2010, where she focused on European Modernism with a secondary interest in Shakespearean drama. Her current areas of research include the British Modern novel and narratology, studies of reading and readership, and critical theory. In the past year, she has presented work at NeMLA, The Dorothy Richardson Conference at the University of London, and the American Conference for Irish Studies (New England). She currently teaches in the Writing and English departments at URI, and previously taught as adjunct faculty member at Colby-Sawyer College in NH.