Nominated by Michael Donnelly, Vanessa Rapatz, and Rory Lee, Courtney Crisp is the most recent winner of the Excellence in Teaching award at the doctoral level.

The following is a small Q&A with Courtney.

How does it feel to have received this award?

It is incredibly exciting and a little bit unbelievable. Being a college instructor was the first job I dreamed of having as a little kid. So, the idea that I’m actually doing it and am considered “excellent” at it is MIND BOGGLING!

What inspires you to teach?

I grew up in a single-parent, low-income household and attended low-income public schools my entire life. These experiences sparked a passion to do social justice work for equitable access to education which continues to influence my teaching practices daily.

Who is a teacher/mentor who has helped you reach this point?

I don’t know if I can specifically pick one teacher or mentor for this answer. I found that the instructors within the writing program were (and continue to be) strong sources of encouragement, advice, and support. I would mostly thank Dr. Jennifer Grouling-Snider, Dr. Laura Romano, Dr. Kat Greene, Dr. Mike Donnelly, and Dr. Rory Lee as they’ve all guided me in so many critical ways and encouraged me to take chances in my teaching practices! Teaching is a community practice, and this program really embodies that.

What has been your most meaningful contribution to the field?

At the moment, I am working towards researching ways to improve equity within writing instruction across campus beyond the writing program itself. This is still a work in progress, but I hope it will be one of my first strong contributions!

Do you have any projects you are currently working on?

I actually have a small collection of projects that I’m very excited about! Dr. Jennifer Grouling-Snider, Shane Lanning, and I recently presented collective research done at Ball State about the current structure of our writing intensive courses. We used this research as a foundational insight into the ways that a Writing Across Curriculum/Writing in the Disciplines program would most benefit our students and faculty. I am also currently doing research that analyzes how fanfiction can be used as a way to analyze, discuss, and engage in social justice discourse.