Meet SNL Online Faculty Kathryn Wozniak

by

SNL Faculty Kathryn Wozniak

Tell us about your educational background and where you worked before SNL

I received both my B.A. in English and my M.A. in Writing from DePaul, which makes me a “Double Demon” in DePaul lingo. However, I am also working on my Ph.D. in Computer Science at DePaul, so that will make me a “Triple Demon” in a few years! Before joining the writing faculty here at SNL, I had a variety of writing and editing jobs. Most recently, I was a copywriter and document designer for a large industrial supply catalog company. While in college, I worked as a tutor and outreach coordinator at DePaul’s Writing Center and was the recording secretary for the Plan Commission of Riverside, IL. I also freelanced for various companies and entrepreneurs, including Amazon.com and Genevieve Thiers, the CEO of SitterCity.com.

Between all of the writing and editing jobs, I found work wherever I could. I’ve worn the hats of a dentist’s assistant, barista, lathe operator, pet sitter, waitress, and bartender. One of the more significant of my previous jobs was my first job at a small dry cleaning company on the southwest side of Chicago, where I worked from ages 15-18. Despite my initial resistance to entering the work world at 15, I am thankful that my parents helped me to build a strong work ethic and understanding of self-sufficiency at a young age. I haven’t stopped working since then!

What intrigued you most about DePaul and SNL?

I grew up in Chicago, so DePaul was my number one choice for college because it was both urban and diverse. It also had a strong reputation for academics, but it wasn’t elitist. I was first introduced to SNL’s program in my junior year at DePaul, when I met a few SNL students who were fellow tutors at the Writing Center. I was intrigued with the flexibility and connection to experience that SNL courses offered adult students. Many SNL students brought drafts of their ILPs and Advanced Projects to the Writing Center, and it was refreshing to work with them on projects that were so different from traditional academic assignments. Also while working at the Writing Center, I met Michelle Navarre Cleary, SNL’s Writing Coordinator and Assistant Professor, who worked with me to spread the word about the Writing Center throughout SNL. Michelle’s determination and leadership as the SNL Writing Coordinator makes SNL’s Writing Program one of the most dynamic writing programs for adult students I’ve found. After I obtained my master’s degree, I learned about an opening to teach writing at SNL, so I jumped on that opportunity.

Besides your work, what are your other interests?

Even though I am a writing instructor, I am working on my Ph.D. in computer science because I am interested in the connections among technology, rhetoric, and writing in digital environments. I’ve also found that many of the processes we use to write are very similar to processes designers and developers use to create software, hardware, and websites. I am currently researching the role of ePortfolios in educational contexts, which supports these interdisciplinary interests.

On the weekends, you’ll probably find me playing djembe and bongo drums, practicing tribal and modern dance, attending music festivals and concerts, visiting new Chicago restaurants, camping, hiking, and cooking.

What classes do you teach?

I currently teach Academic Writing for Adults, Writing Workshop, Research Seminar, and Professional Writing. In the future, I hope to develop and teach SNL courses related to rhetoric, technical writing, and digital media.

What do you like most about working at DePaul and SNL?

SNL students have made teaching one of the most rewarding experiences in my life so far. On my way home from my first night of teaching for SNL, I thought “I want to do this for the rest of my life!” Working with SNL students to strengthen their writing skills, reflect on experience, and advance their education gives me a true sense of connection and purpose. It’s also a reciprocal learning experience–we learn from each other.

In addition, without the consistent support and encouragement from DePaul and SNL faculty and administrators, I would not be where I am today. For the last 10 years, they have provided an environment that is both challenging and nurturing.

What advice would you give to current students taking online classes?

Writing is often the main mode of communication and community-building in online courses, so take every opportunity to strengthen your learning experience while honing your writing skills, especially on discussion boards. Challenge yourself, make thoughtful claims, get to know other online students, ask lots of questions, be creative, and have fun!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: