Alumni Spotlight

Thanks to Emeritus English Professor Dr. George Diamond for gathering new alumni spotlight pieces for the English Department web site.

Alumni Spotlight: Courtney Werner '11

Courtney Werner is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition at Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ. She teaches in the English Department, and her classes include Language and Linguistics, Writing for the Web, New Media Writing, College Composition, and a graduate course in Computers and Writing. This summer she will also participate in Monmouth’s EOF (Educational Opportunity Fund) Program for promising but disadvantaged students. In addition to her teaching, Courtney writes scholarly articles on writing center studies, new media, and composition studies. Her latest publication is an article entitled “Speaking of Composing (Frameworks): New Media Discussions, 2000-2010” in Computers and Composition.

Following graduation from Moravian, Courtney completed an M.A. at Texas State University and a Ph.D. in English with an emphasis on writing at Kent State University. Following completion of the Ph.D. she began working at Hope College, in Michigan, which gave her the opportunity to “build a college writing program from the ground up.” At Hope she spent 12 hours a day “teaching, meeting, conferencing, planning, and attending student events.” This experience convinced her that college teaching was the right career path for her. Teaching students inside the classroom and working with them outside of the classroom gave a special richness to her position.

Moravian’s English Department was a great influence on Courtney’s career path. “At Moravian, I had sincere role models who wanted me to learn what I wanted to learn and think in innovative ways. I learned that working with others was what made me happy, that considering language and its effect on my life and my social realms was what lit my brain and my heart on fire, and I am thankful for both faculty and peers who understood those interests.” Courtney discovered that “having peers and faculty who valued what I valued while constantly pushing me to think more critically and more broadly changed my life, not just my career path.”

Courtney believes that the English Department helped her to develop “passion and drive.” She remembers beginning college as an introvert with few outside interests but says that “by the time I graduated I was involved in numerous organizations, held leadership positions in all of them, found myself in an adventure across the country, and had done the near impossible”--written an honors thesis combining her interests in religion and literature. “The Department helped me develop the confidence to make my own way in the world and to stand up for my values. The people—both faculty and students—are alive in my mind and heart every day. Too many students don’t have departments like this one to help them find their own ways in the world and alight their spirits.”

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