Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully


Online Writing Instruction: No Longer a Novelty

NCTE Council Chronicle November 2009

As the Internet and new technologies permeate every aspect of our lives, teaching is no exception.

“More and more people are looking to find ways to teach writing online that are effective, make sense, and are as good if not better than on-site classes,” says Scott Warnock, assistant professor of English, director of the Freshman Writing Program at Drexel University and author of Teaching Writing Online: How and Why.

Collaboration Imagination

Illinois Alumni August 2009

A high school boy teaching computer skills in Africa. An inner city administrator fulfilling her vision of a playground. A rural chemistry teacher linking to a professional community. What is the connection of these people - and hundreds of others - to the University of Illinois?

Sailing: Another way to enjoy Illinois lakes

Outdoor Illinois July 2009

From Horatio Hornblower to Pirates of the Caribbean, sailing has always held a certain romance; with no engine, the sailor becomes adept at sailing in every kind of condition, from light to heavy wind, from smooth to choppy water, and, ultimately, to master or harness Mother Nature in all her moods.

Promises to Keep

Illinois Alumni April 2009

Lhea Randle dreamed since she was 8 years old that she would go to college, but when her mom died, it looked like her plans might go up in smoke. Mauriell Amechi, commuting one hour each way to high school and being raised by his grandmother, felt that college was his “destiny.” Silvia Gonzalez, for whom English was her second language, was determined as a child to graduate from college, better herself and help her family in the process.

Myriad rules and regulations challenge emergent biofuels industry

Institute of Genomic Biology April 2009

Bryan Endres’s exploration of the legal issues surrounding biofuels and genetically modified plants is tightly integrated with the efforts of IGB scientists to unlock the key to commercial production of cellulosic ethanol.

Teacher Advocacy

NCTE Council Chronicle March 2009

Teachers typically do not enter the profession intent on becoming political advocates. Their focus is how best to help individual students, leaving others to look out for students’ and teachers’ interests in the wider world. However, many teachers are recognizing that their classroom efforts are being hampered by forces outside the classroom. In order to counteract those forces, some teachers have become advocates for their profession and their students in the public arena.

Microbes: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Biomarker: Institute for Genomic Biology December 2008

People don’t always like to be reminded of it, but microbes are everywhere. There are more microbes on one human hand than there are humans in the world. The vast majority of these organisms are benign, and many are even beneficial: they help us breathe and digest our food; they contribute to the development of our immune systems and impact the effectiveness of drugs we take.

Stories of Us:

NCTE Council Chronicle September 2008

Jackson walks by Adam in the cafeteria and purposely spills his food on Adam. Later Jackson grabs Adam’s book and, despite Adam’s protests, throws it out the window. A teacher asks what is going on and Adam says “Nothing.”

No-Vacation Nation

Perspectives December 2007

It is no secret that Americans work more hours and have fewer paid vacations than any other developed country. For example, while European Union nations have a legally mandated two-week vacation policy and most workers get far more, the United States has no laws requiring paid vacation. Typically, employees have to work at a large U.S. company for 10 years before they get 15 days of paid vacation.


Perspectives June 2007

A mere generation or two ago, a strong back, stamina and loyalty were a guarantee of regular employment. But with the rise of the high-technology sector and the gradual shifting of the economy away from agriculture and manufacturing, brainpower is the name of the game these days.


Read more writings in my features, essays or books