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Welcome statement (teaching/research/personal interests): Literature has the power to change lives, and my life changed dramatically because of my passion for teaching and American literatures. I’m a local who ventured out to the Southwest for graduate school and in search of a purpose for my life. As a first-generation college student, I had never imagined leaving my family behind or moving across the nation. After six years in the desert, I received my Ph.D. in Literature from the University of Arizona (May 2007) and found my way home. While at the University of Arizona, I studied with scholars and writers who focused on Native American literatures, early to nineteenth-century American literature, literatures of the American west and frontier, and I also worked with programs that supported Native American youth and first-generation college students. Seattle University’s commitment to social justice inspires me to look beyond the surface of all things and explore solutions to manifestations of injustice. My courses demonstrate the importance of detailed analysis and offer students the opportunity to engage in provocative discussions about social justice issues.Interests: Early to Nineteenth-Century American Literature; Native American and First Nations Literatures; Colonial and Postcolonial Theories; Ecocriticism;Environmental JusticeCurrent and Recent Courses: American Renaissance, 1820-1860; Readings in American Literature; Core English 110 and 120Dream or Future Courses: Indigenous American Literatures, Women Writers in American Literature, Ecocriticism and American Literature, Literature and Film of the American West.