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English Full Time Faculty

Shazia Ali

Shazia Ali

Office Location:G216

Phone:  972-391-1067

Email:  shazia.ali@dcccd.edu

Courses:English 1301, English 1302, American Literature 2328, World Literature 2332, Cultural Studies 2370, Technical Writing 2311

Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts (Magna cum Laude) in Literary Studies - 2005, University of Texas at Dallas
Masters of Arts in Humanities (Studies in Literature) - 2005, University of Texas at Dallas
Ph.D (ABD) Humanities (Studies in Literature) - 2010, University of Texas at Dallas

Work Experience:  I have taught Composition, Rhetoric and Literature courses at UTD from 2005 - 2009. I taught Humanities at Collin College from 2006 - 2009 and Composition and Literature courses at Richland College from 2006 - 2009. I have also taught at University of North Texas and Southern New Hampshire University. I have been teaching at Eastfield College since Fall 2009.

Teaching Philosophy: My teaching philosophy is based on integration and collaboration. I encourage my students to break free from convention and explore their own writing styles until they finally develop their own "voice" in writing. I like to focus equally on the process of writing and the final product. And this makes my classes more fun-oriented than a traditional English course.

John Barrett

John Barrett

Office Location:  C-230

Telephone:  972-860-7615

Email:  JohnBarrett@dcccd.edu

Courses Taught: English 1301 (Composition I) English 1302 (Composition II) English 2311 (Technical Writing) English 2322 (British Literature I) English 2323 (British Literature II)

Educational Background: B.A. University of Houston M.A. University of Wisconsin—Madison Ph.D. University of Notre Dame

Work Experience: University of Notre Dame, Richland College, Eastfield College

Teaching Philosophy: I love teaching at the community college level because I prefer to work with students who are just discovering their talents, abilities, and learning skills. I grew up in the shadow of Houston’s skyline in an inner-city neighborhood within hearing distance of the ship channel. I was graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School and arrived at the University of Houston completely unprepared for the rigors of college learning. I know firsthand how crucial inspirational instructors can be. My freshman composition instructor fired my love of learning and my desire to pursue college teaching as a career. For nearly forty years, I have striven to be that kind of instructor. I believe in students and I believe in the importance of a caring guide who is willing to nurture rather than censure. Nothing impedes learning like anxiety. If I can get a student to believe in herself, I can move her forward in her ability to communicate and learn. As I have matured in my teaching, I also know the importance of structure, guidelines, measured steps, and clear expectations. My assignments are now scaffolded so that students build their skills in small activities leading up to the larger and more challenging assignments. I try to state clear learning outcomes for each learning unit so the student knows in advance the goals sought. Online teaching has taught me the importance of clarity, carefully-staged activities, and regular instructor feedback and encouragement.

Favorite Quotation: “Why is that, Captain Ron?” (from the film Captain Ron)

Kassandra Buck

Kassandra Buck

Office Location:  C277

Telephone: 972-860-7046

Email:  kbuck@dcccd.edu

Educational Background: The University of Texas at Dallas - Dallas, Texas - Masters of Arts in the Humanities in Studies in Literature The University of Texas at Pan American - Edinburg, Texas - Bachelors of Arts in English

Work Experience: I began teaching middle school English. After many years of teaching middle school, I decided to go into the private-sector to become a corporate trainer for an oil and gas company. Even though being a corporate trainer was similar to teaching, I was not fulfilled. I came back to the classroom as an adjunct at North Lake College, Mountain View College, ITTech, and UTD. I have been at Eastfield College since Fall 2011.

Teaching Philosophy: My teaching philosophy is based on a quote from Ignacio Estrada – “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” I strongly believe in developing a partnership between my students. During the first day of class, I tell my students that I have two goals for them. The most important is that they become competent and creative writers and thinkers. Second, I want them to be able to take the skills they learned in class and apply them in their work force.

Personal quote: “If we expect students to be winners and expect them to do well, they will rise to the occasion.” ~Jaime Escalante

Katawna Caldwell

Katawna CaldwellOffice Location:  C226

Telephone: 972-860-7055

Email:  katawnacaldwell@dcccd.edu

Classes: ENGL 1301, ENGL 1302 (lecture and online), ENGL 2327,Introduction to African-American literature 2326 (Fall 2010).

Educational Background:  I studied at Northeastern State University (Oklahoma) where I received my Bachelor of Science degree.  I later relocated to Dallas, TX to attend Southern Methodist University where I received my Master of Arts degree with a concentration in Native American and African American literature. 
My love for literature and poetry drew me to the field of English.  Thus, after dabbling in several other fields from fashion merchandising to eCommerce, I found my true calling to teach.  Teaching in higher education has truly been a life changing experience for me.   The ability to help students reach their short and long term educational goals is what motivates me daily.  My goal is to expose students to an array of learning styles and techniques.
During my leisure time, I enjoy reading, writing poetry, traveling (practically anywhere), and shopping for bargains.  When I am away from school, I routinely travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma to spend quality time with my family, parents, two sisters and two wonderful nieces. 

Favorite Famous Quote:  Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.  Langston Hughes

Elaine Cho

Elaine ChoOffice Location:  G109

Phone:  972-860-7051

Email:   elainecho@dcccd.edu

Classes:  ENGL 1301 & 1302 Freshmen Composition
ENGL 2326 Asian-American Literature
ENGL 2333 World Literature
CUST 2370 Cultural Studies

Teaching Philosophy:  Teaching a composition course involves patience, ability to be flexible with changing technology, adjust to the ever changing student demographics, creativity, sharing best practices with other faculty and colleges, and sharing the passion for writing and reading.  I encourage my students to neither dislike nor fear writing because they will utilize their learned skills to enhance their opportunities in education, work and life.  A student must understand that a specific grade does not determine his or her self-worth. Instead, it is an opportunity for improvement.

Personal Information or personal quote:  In order to achieve a level of success in education, work, and life, one must be able to write and read well.  In addition to breathing right and eating good food, writing and reading are also good tools for survival.

Elizabeth Huston

Elizabeth HustonOffice Location: G111

Phone: 972-860-7061

Email:  elizabethhuston@dcccd.edu

Classes: English 1301: Composition I
English 1302: Composition II
English 2323: British Literature—19th Century to the present
English 2328: American Literature
English 2332: World Literature—Ancients to Renaissance
English 2333: World Literature—16th Century to the present
Cultural Studies 2370: World Women Studies

Educational Background:
BA, University of Houston
MA, Texas Woman’s University
PhD, Texas Woman’s University
Post-doctoral additional studies: St. Edwards University

Work Experience: Eastfield College, University of Mary Hardin Baylor, Austin Community College, San Antonio College, Texas Woman’s University

Related Professional Experience: Assessment Specialist, National Evaluation Systems, Technical Writer

Teaching Philosophy: I believe education changes who we are and how we think. In working with my students, my primary goal is to help them discover the value of learning and to encourage them to become independent scholars and life-long learners.

A Favorite Quote:“How can a rational being be ennobled by any thing that is not obtained by its own exertions?”
(Mary Wollstonecraft)

Betsy Joseph

Betsy JosephOffice Location: C208

Phone: 972-860-7238

Email: betsyjoseph@dcccd.edu 

Classes: Composition I and II, American Literature, Creative Writing, Memoir Writing

Educational Background: B.A. in English, B.A. in Spanish, M.A. in English, courses toward PhD

Work Experience:  My teaching career has spanned several decades now, and I still begin a new semester with anticipation and hope for an optimal experience for all involved.  Not to do so seems a disservice to the profession and to my own personal code of teaching.

Teaching Philosophy:  My teaching philosophy focuses on the whole person.  To that end I incorporate history, sociology, and psychology into reading, writing, and collaborative assignments to offer students a broader perspective on society and the world.  In addition, teaching satisfies my yearning for true exchange and allows me to be on both sides of the process—simultaneously.  I strive for that experience and connection both in my on-campus and in my online classes.

Personal Information or personal quote: In the words of American poet and critic Mark Van Doren, “The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery”—a useful observation to remember in our profession.

Michael Morris

Michael MorrisOffice Location:  C264

Phone:  972-860-7247

Email:  michaelmorris@dcccd.edu

Classes:  ENGL 1301, ENGL 1302, ENGL 2328

Educational Background:  M.A., East Texas State University, English, 1995
B.A. (with honors), East Texas State University, English and French, 1985

Work Experience (from my cv):  English Instructor, Spring 1998 to present, Eastfield Community College.  Teaching Developmental Writing, Composition, and American, British, and World Literature.
Associate Faculty, Fall 1995-Spring 1998, Collen County Community College (Preston Ridge and Spring Creek), English 1301 and English 1302 (Composition).
Associate Faculty, Fall 1995-Fall 1998, Eastfield Community College, DW 091 (Developmental Writing), English 1301 and 1302 (Composition), and English 2322 (British Literature).
Graduate Assistant, 1990-1995.  E.T.S.U., Communication Skills Center (tutor).
Graduate Assistant, y and Summer, 1991.  E.T.S.U. MACH III, (tutor in charge of T.A.S.P. remediation for English).
Graduate Assistant, 1990-1995.  E.T.S.U., English 100 (Developmental English), English 110 (Developmental English), English 101 (Freshman Composition), English 102 (Freshman Composition), English 201 (Introduction to Literature).
Teaching Assistant, 1994, English 406 (Adolescent Literature).
Instructor, February, 1995, Eastfield Community College, Poetry Workshop for S.P.A.R. program.
Adjunct Faculty, Fall 1995, E.T.S.U., English 101.

Teaching Philosophy:  I believe that reading and writing are inextricably linked. This is why I ask my Composition students to read more and to make varied use of that material, and also why I ask my Literature students to write in different ways about the works they study. I also believe in an active approach to learning. I am pleased beyond measure when my students are able to make connections between what they read and write and the world they are only beginning to explore.

Personal Information:   When not teaching, I spend my time with my wife and children. I like to listen to music (mostly jazz), read, and watch sports. I am a proud member of St. Peter’s in McKinney. Also, the adage, “Those who cannot do, teach” will not apply to me. To that end, I try to make sure I write every day.

Websites:  At Times…Wrestling: http://mnm44.wordpress.com/
Monk Notes (blog): http://mnmwrite.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/mnmwrite 

Amber Pagel

Amber Pagel

Office: C222

Phone: 972-391-1063

Email: AmberPagel@dcccd.edu

Courses Taught: English 1301, English 1302, American Literature 2327, British Literature 2323, Modernist British Literature 2321

Educational Background: PhD in English in progress (ABD), University of North Texas M.A. in English, 2003 University of North Texas B.A. (summa cum laude) in English, 2000 University of Texas at Arlington

Work Experience: Mesquite High School, English Teacher, 2000-2010 Eastfield College, English Professor, 2010-Present

Favourite Quote(s): “The poetry that comes from the squaring off between and the circling is worth it, finding beauty in the dissonance.” “Spiral out. Keep going…” ~Maynard James Keenan

Rufel Ramos

rufel ramosOffice: G136

Phone: 972-860-7361

Email: rramos@dcccd.edu

Classes: ENGL 1301, 1302, 2333

Education Background:  BA English (University of Dallas), MA English with Creative Writing Specialization (Southern Methodist University), PhD Literature (University of Dallas)

Work Background:  I've been teaching on the college level since fall 1999. Colleges I've taught before Eastfield are Mountain View College, Paul Quinn College, and North Lake College.  In the past, I taught Developmental Writing, as well as Freshman Composition and sophomore literature classes.  These days, I teach ENGL 1301, ENGL 1302, ENGL 2333, in all kinds of teaching environments: traditional classroom, hybrid, and online.

Teaching Philosophy:  My ongoing philosophy of education leans toward pragmatism.  Perhaps this is so because I am a pragmatic sort in the common-sense of that word, but also I am an optimist; and the pragmatist’s call for including hands-on, working-it-out experience into the formal learning environment with the goal towards improving the self and society appeals to both my practical side and idealist side.

In practice, I stress the process of writing as well as the process of reading.  I stress the importance of connecting students' real-world experiences with the assigned work, as well as the importance of students learning from each other.  In doing so, I hope that students are able find immediate application of what they learn in my classroom to relevant parts of their lives outside the classroom.

Personal Info: I am a single mom of a son who acts a lot like Curious George. Also, if you're wondering, "Spanish last name, but Asian face?" -- I'm Filipino.

Larissa L. Pierce

Larissa PierceOffice Location: G133

Phone: 972-860-7315

Email:  LarissaPierce@dcccd.edu

Classes:  English 1301 (Composition I), English 1302 (Composition II),and English 2328 (American Literature)

Educational Background: Grambling State University and The University of Texas at Dallas

Work Experience: Approximately fourteen years ago, I began teaching Middle School Language Arts and Advanced Placement Literature. When I moved to Texas in 1998, I commenced teaching at Paul Quinn College. From that point, I did Adjunct work at Richland and Brookhaven Community Colleges. I then took off from teaching and worked as an Academic Advisor.

Teaching Philosophy: As an educator, I am dedicated to the promotion of student success in academics and   developing innovative strategies to continually improve learning. I believe in the continuous pursuit of education; therefore, no one ever stops learning.

In the classroom, I enjoy student-teacher interaction; not only is the classroom a place to learn and obtain pertinent information based on the subject matter, but the classroom is also a place to learn more about oneself--what one's writing, time management, test-taking and presentation successes and limitations are. Students should enter every classroom eager to learn and, if they have truly grasped the material, they should feel empowered when they leave.

Personal quote:
"All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle."
--St. Francis of Assisi

Dr. Nina Serebrianik

Dr. Nina SerebrianikOffice Location: N213

Phone: 972-860-7229

Email:  nserebrianik@dcccd.edu

Educational Background B.A. (Cum Laude) in Literary Studies – 2003, the University of Texas at Dallas M.A. in Humanities: Studies in Literature – 2005, the University of Texas at Dallas Ph.D. in Humanities: Studies in Literature – 2011, the University of Texas at Dallas

Areas of interest: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Medieval Literature and History

Work Experience I taught Rhetoric, Composition, and World Literature at UTD (2004-2009), Humanities at Collin College (2008-2009), Rhetoric, Composition, and Literature at Collin College (2009-2013), as well as Rhetoric and Composition at Richland College (2009-2013). I joined Eastfield College in 2013.

Teaching Philosophy I believe the best learning and work take place when we enjoy what we do or are learning to do, take risks, and try something new. I use cooperative learning strategies in my classroom to engage my students and prove to them that English is fun and valuable for their lives in and out of college, that writing, reading, and thinking critically are interesting, and that my enthusiasm for my work is contagious. I am dedicated to helping my students discover the thrill of the writing process and the joy of helping each other learn.

Favorite Quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Sabine Winter

Sabine WinterOffice Location: N-214

Phone: 972-860-7632

Email:  swinter@dcccd.edu