Current FYC Leaders

Jackie E. Hoermann-Elliott, PhD

Jackie E. Hoermann-Elliott, PhD


PhD, English: Composition and Rhetoric, Texas Christian University
MA, English: Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication, Iowa State University
BA, English: Language and Literature, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Hoermann-Elliott’s approach to administration, teaching and research centers around the role of well-being in the writing processes of student and professional writers, particularly in terms of embodied cognition and mindfulness.

Her first book, Running, Thinking, Writing: Embodied Cognition in Composition, was published by Parlor Press in 2021, and her scholarship has also been published in several edited collections as well as national journals, such as Composition Forum, WPA Journal, and The Journal for the Assembly of Expanded Perspectives on Learning. She attends several conferences regularly, including the Conference on College Composition and Communication, where she enjoys meeting other teachers who share her ardent interest in creativity and embodiment. At TWU, she enjoys teaching first-year courses, including ENGL 1013 and ENGL 1023, professional communication courses, and graduate courses focused on rhetoric and composition theory and writing program administration.

Sierra Mendez, PhD

Sierra Mendez, PhD

Assistant Director

PhD, English: Rhetoric & Writing, University of Texas at Austin, 2022
MA, Visual Arts & Design: Design & Innovation Studies, University of North Texas, 2012
BA, English: Language & Literature, Texas A&M University, 2009

Mendez is an assistant professor in rhetoric and composition. Her research pulls from visual, memory and material rhetorics to understand the engulfing epistemologies and ecologies of coloniality/modernity.

She works with mundane, mass-produced and mass-circulated texts in community-based archives to trace the materialization of colonizing narratives into civic infrastructure, particularly local constructions of race. How, in other words, settler stories in Texas were made real and the ways their realization has affected and infected communities.

Her pedagogy is invested in supporting students as power-wielding message makers moving in long histories of mattered meaning. Her research and classroom are informed by her experiences in public humanities, creating educational resources and installations for the San Antonio Public Library from archival materials. Her work has been published in Rhetoric Society Quarterly. You can find more information here.

Jennifer Conner

Jennifer Conner

2023-2024 FYC Program Assistant

PhD candidate, Rhetoric, Texas Woman’s University
MA, Communication, Dallas Baptist University
BA, Mass Communication, Dillard University

Conner is a scholar and professor of rhetoric and composition with research interests that intersect at Black feminist rhetoric, English pedagogy, communication theory and activism. She has over 18 years of experience in education, teaching courses in English language arts, speech communication and first-year writing.

She is most interested in contributing to pedagogy concerning remedial reading and writing in an effort to narrow the gap in education for first-year college students. In addition, she has worked as a freelance journalist for several years, writing articles focused on the African-American community throughout New Orleans and Dallas. As a scholar, she seeks to gain more nuanced skills, intermeshing what she’s ascertained in scholarship to more public sites of learning, in order to be more constructive in discourse communities focused on social reform while using an intersectional perspective. She is working on a study analyzing the communication self-efficacy of Black women English educators in Texas classrooms.

Hannah Diaz

Hannah Diaz

First-Year Composition and Write Site

BA, English, Texas Woman’s University

A proud TWU alumni, Diaz received her BA in English literature in 2019. After a few years of career exploration, including a couple of years of making ice cream and decorating cakes, she returned to work for her alma mater in summer of 2023. As senior secretary, she splits her time between working with the Write Site and the First-Year Composition program.

To Diaz, a solid foundation for writing and communication is immensely valuable for any academic endeavor, career field, or life situation. Diaz is honored to be a part of helping TWU students build a writing foundation that will help them thrive in college, in their careers, and beyond. She will be starting the MA program for English Literature at TWU in Fall 2023. Although she has a range of academic interests, she hopes to focus her graduate studies on the presence of trauma in literature. Her intrigue for the topic sparked while taking Literature in Genocide as an undergraduate with Ashley Bender, PhD, in Spring 2018. Diaz hopes to teach college-level English someday while continuing to be a life-long learner of literature and writing.

Past FYC Leaders

Margaret Williams headshot

Margaret Williams, PhD

2022-23 Assistant Director

PhD, Rhetoric, Texas Woman’s University
MA, Rhetoric, Western Carolina University
MLAS, University of North Carolina Asheville
BA, English, University of Alabama

Margaret V. Williams, a former journalist, is a feminist teacher-scholar committed to collaborative, strategic practices in classrooms, program administration and research. This praxis includes research in rhetorical ecologies, particularly the agency, multimodalities and entanglements involving women in political/public spheres. Dr. Williams also emphasizes rhetorical ecologies in first-year and professional writing courses, drawing on multimodality and multiliteracies to engage students in collaborative, productive practices. She has presented her research at national conferences such as the Rhetoric Society of America, contributed to TWU FYC’s first open-educational resource textbook, and received the J. Dean Bishop Award for Teaching Excellence (TWU, 2021). Her academic service includes representing the LCGS department on TWU’s Graduate Student Council, leading the department’s English Rhetoric Graduate Organization (ERGO) as president and treasurer, chairing the annual essay contest, and participating in assessment projects. A Pioneer alumna, Dr. Williams enjoys teaching composition and rhetoric at TWU, mentoring students, and helping administer the FYC program.

Charles Dyer headshot

Charles Dyer

2019-23 Senior Secretary
(First-Year Composition & Write Site)

MA, Public Administration, University of North Texas (in progress)
BA, English, Hendrix College

Dyer is an Arkansas transplant who holds a degree in English/Creative Writing with an emphasis in politics from Hendrix College. He is a political junkie who, over the past several years, has spent a lot of time and energy on political communications. At TWU, Dyer splits his time between the Write Site and FYC. On the weekends, he either spends time with his cat, Bids, or his dog, Wanda. He likes to stay active with his partner by running or visiting TWU’s fitness & recreation center. Dyer states, "I am a true believer that good writing can do anything in the world. I suppose it's fitting I've found myself here in FYC." In Fall 2019, Dyer was hired as the FYC senior secretary, and he brought a wealth of skills to his position. He is currently a public administration master’s student at the University of North Texas in Denton.

Desirée Thorpe

Desirée Thorpe

2022-2023 FYC Program Assistant

PhD candidate, Rhetoric, Texas Woman’s University
MA, English, Angelo State University
BA, English, McMurry University

Thorpe is an experienced First-Year Composition instructor, and received the 2022 J. Dean Bishop Excellence in Teaching Award. Thorpe is invested in acknowledging students’ in and out-of-school literacies and integrating digital literacies in writing courses to support students. Her research focuses on the intersections of digital literacies, affinity spaces and gamification. She has a forthcoming chapter in Gamification in The Rhet/Comp Curriculum about supporting first-year writers by adapting video game affinity spaces, specifically from Dark Souls III. She presented at NeMLA (2018) explaining how to implement anime in first-year writing courses, and she was accepted to SWPACA(2020) to expand on utilizing gamification in writing courses. Thorpe is also invested in the well-being of graduate students and is working on a project that addresses bereavement in graduate school.

Rachel Daugherty headshot

Rachel Daugherty, PhD

Assistant Director

PhD, Rhetoric and Composition, Texas Christian University
MA, English: Rhetoric and Composition, Oklahoma State University
BA, English, Oregon State University

Rachel Daugherty is a teacher-scholar dedicated to finding common ground in her feminist approaches to teaching, administration, and research. Her teaching focuses on connecting with local communities and national topics by prompting students to consider how American political policies affect local organizations. Her research focuses on coalition-building practices in activist and educational contexts, as well as feminist pedagogy and writing program administration. Her scholarship has appeared in edited collections and national journals, including Innovative Higher Education and Peitho: Journal of the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition. She regularly presents at national conferences, such as the Rhetoric Society of America, College Composition and Communication, and Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s), discussing feminist approaches to writing pedagogy, administration, and rhetorical criticism. She enjoys teaching in the first-year writing program at TWU, in addition to teaching Research Methods in Rhetoric and Composition, Technical Writing, and Writing Program Administration.

Justin Cook's headshot

Justin Cook

2020-2021 FYC Program Assistant

PhD, Rhetoric: Texas Woman’s University
MA, English: Arkansas State University
BA, English: Arkansas State University

Justin Cook was a PhD Candidate in the LCGS Department and an experienced FYC/English instructor invested in themed pedagogy and multimodal composition. He was the 2020 recipient of the J. Dean Bishop Excellence in Teaching Award and prior to that was awarded the TWU Experiential Student Scholar Award. During his time at TWU, he served as President of the English Rhetoric Graduate Organization (ERGO), the Digital Composition Lab Assistant Coordinator and the FYC Program Assistant. His dissertation research focuses on agency and action in the digital sphere, specifically how mourning in these spaces is a rhetorical act of resistance for the LGBTQIA+ communities and communities of color. Justin has since graduated and is now an Assistant Professor and Writing Center Director at High Point University in High Point, NC.

Mike Fraley

Mike Fraley

2019-2020 FYC Program Assistant

PhD, Rhetoric: Texas Woman’s University
MA, English: Tarleton State University
BA, English: Tarleton State University

Fraley has been teaching FYC and English courses for eight years. In addition to teaching FYC courses, Fraley was also writing center tutor and supervisor at Tarleton State for three years prior to coming to TWU. He has experience teaching Basic Writing; 1013 and 1013 Supplemental; 1023 (online and face-to-face) and 1023 Digital Composition in the Digital Composition Lab; and second-year Short Story courses. Fraley won both the 2018 J. Dean Bishop Excellence in Teaching Award as well as the Graduate Teaching Assistant Award of Excellence in 2019. His research interest focuses on multiliteracy and multimodality.

Amanda Oswalt

Amanda Oswalt

2019-2020 Co-Program Assistant

PhD, Rhetoric: Texas Woman’s University
MA, English: Texas Woman’s University
BA, English: Philosophy minor, Texas Woman’s University

Oswalt has been teaching in higher education for over 10 years. Her teaching assignments have included Basic Writing, Composition l and ll, Introduction to Literature, and Introduction to Literature by Women. Amanda is a past recipient of the J. Dean Bishop Excellence in Teaching Award, and her students consistently give her high praise in evaluations. Oswalt’s research interest in gender and politics informs her teaching of both writing and literature, and she is currently working on her dissertation which focuses on the rhetoric of First Ladies.

Katie McWain's headshot

Katie McWain, PhD

2018-2019 Director

PhD, English: Composition and Rhetoric, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
MA, English Language and Literature, University of Missouri-Kansas City
BA, English and Writing, Drury University

During her tenure as the TWU FYC, Dr. Katie McWain was both a thoughtful and innovative director. Sadly, her untimely passing meant her stay at TWU was unfortunately all too short. Katie’s research focused on writing program administration, first-year composition, teacher development, and dual credit/dual enrollment writing partnerships. Her research has been published in Teaching English in the Two-Year College and the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, and she has publications that focus on TAs in composition as well as sponsoring information literacy across the curriculum. She was a member of CCCC's Task Force to Develop a Joint Statement on Dual Enrollment in Composition, and served on the editorial board for the journal WPA: Writing Program Administration. Her passions included helping both students and teachers to conceptualize writing and pedagogy as a lifelong process of development.

Jodi Meyer headshot

Jodi Meyer

2019-2020 FYC Research Assistant

MA, Texas Woman’s University
BA, English & Philosophy, Angelo State University

Meyer graduated from Angelo State University with her BA in English and Philosophy in 2018 and is working towards a graduate degree for a career in editing. She is a plan-oriented person and was very excited to use that in helping the FYC program. Meyer joined the FYC Leadership team as a research assistant for the 2019-2020 academic year, and she assisted the program in a study to gauge the efficacy of our Writing Counts Program.

Page last updated 8:49 AM, March 4, 2024