Who We Are

The Program in Writing and Critical Inquiry Faculty and Staff

All Writing and Critical Inquiry classes are taught by experienced professionals who have advanced training in a wide range of academic fields, including rhetoric and composition, literary theory, philosophy, and creative writing. Our faculty form a distinctive community of teacher-scholars dedicated to helping UAlbany students succeed as writers and thinkers across the undergraduate curriculum.

Our faculty

Robert P. Yagelski is Director of the Program in Writing and Critical Inquiry. He is also associate professor of English Education in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice and an affiliated faculty member of the Department of English. He directs the Capital District Writing Project, which is a site of the National Writing Project. A former high school English teacher and freelance writer, he earned his Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition from the Ohio State University and has taught writing at four universities as well as in a prison college-equivalency program. He is the author of two books of writing and literacy theory (Literacy Matters: Writing and Reading the Social Self, 2000; Writing as a Way of Being: Writing Instruction, Nonduality, and the Crisis of Sustainability, 2010), four writing textbooks, a children’s book, and numerous articles about writing and writing instruction.

Dr. Allison Craig joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University at Albany. Her research and teaching interests include late 20th Century -21st Century American literature and gender studies, film studies, multi-ethnic studies, critical pedagogy and analytical writing. She has taught writing, literature, social theory and structure, and cultural studies. Click her for her page.

Dr. Susan Cumings joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from her former position at the College of St. Rose. She received her Ph.D. in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies from Emory University. Her research and teaching interests include women’s and transgender autobiography, multicultural American literature, self and community in film and art, and 20th century Canadian and American literature.

Ms. Amanda Giracca joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer. She received her terminal Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing and Nonfiction from the University of Pittsburgh. Her teaching and research interests and activities include journalism and non-fiction; introductory writing, reading and critical thinking; and creative non-fiction.

Mr. Jeffrey Janssens joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from his previous positions at North Central State College, Ohio and Appalachian State University. He received his terminal Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Pittsburgh in Fiction Writing. He has taught extensively, including courses in composition, introduction to fiction, creative writing, fiction writing, research writing, and film.

Ms. Jaclyn Amoroso joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from her former position at The College of St. Rose. She received her Master of Arts in English from The College of St. Rose. Her teaching interests include expository writing, oral communication, research techniques, American identity in literature, and literary genres and traditions.

Dr. Nelli Sargsyan-Pittman joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer. She received her Ph.D. from the University at Albany in Linguistic/Cultural Anthropology. Her research interests include identity discourses (gender, race, sexuality), trans-national gender studies, feminism, social change, and contemporary art activism. She has taught writing, cultural anthropology, and linguistics in the US and Armenia.

Dr. Shawn Jasinski joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from his former position at Binghamton University. He received his Ph.D. from the Binghamton University in English, Literature and Rhetoric. His research interests include early 20th century and late 20th and early 21st century American fiction and cultural and political studies. He has taught literature, rhetoric, and composition.

Dr. Juliette Gutmann joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from her former position at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She received her Ph.D. from the University at Albany in English. Her teaching and research interests include creative writing (poetry, prose and memoir), first year university teaching and learning, excellence in undergraduate education, literature, and eastern religions.

Dr. Bethany Aery Clerico joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from her former position in the English Department at UAlbany. She received her PhD from the University at Albany in English. Her research interests focus on Caribbean and Transnational Regionalism in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century American Literature. She has taught expository and creative writing, and Caribbean and American literature.

Dr. Brendan Mahoney joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from his former position at Binghamton University. He received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Binghamton University. His research and teaching interests include first-year writing, 19th & 20th Century environmental writing, philosophy of language, literary theory, literature and philosophy of technology, aesthetics, and modernism.

Dr. Puja Sahney joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer. She received her Ph.D. from Indiana University at Bloomington in Folklore. Her research interests lie in ritual traditions and domestic life in India. Her extensive teaching experience includes courses in introductory and intermediate writing, folklore, and humanities.

Dr. Moriah Hampton joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from her former position at the University of Alabama. She received her Ph.D. in English at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). Her research interests lie in Modernist literature and culture, feminist theory and psychoanalytic approaches, and she has extensive experience teaching writing and literature.

Dr. Evelyn Baldwin joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer. She received her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Her research interests include reading, composition, religion, and gender. She has extensive experience teaching writing in a global perspective, literature, linguistics, and business writing.

Ms. Lisa Arrastía is a lecturer in the Writing and Critical Inquiry program. She is a candidate for the Ph.D. in American Studies at University of Minnesota. Her fields of concentration are critical ethnic studies and education, and her research focuses on the iconographies of difference in schools. She is the designer and lead educational consultant for the Minneapolis Teachers Institute, a member of Project for the Advancement of Our Common Humanity at New York University, and co-editor with Marvin Hoffman of Starting Up: Critical Lessons from 10 New Schools (New York: Teachers College Press, 2012).

Dr. Llana Carroll joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from her former position at New York University. She received her Ph.D. from University of Pittsburgh in English: Critical and Cultural Studies. Her research interests lie in the writers of the Bloomsbury Group, gender, and the theory and practice of teaching reading and writing.