2019    Doctor of Philosophy in English: Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English, University of Arizona
Committee: Dr. Ken S. McAllister (Chair), Dr. Adela C. Licona, Dr. Damián P. Baca
Dissertation: Rhetorics of the Fantastic: Re-Examining Fantasy as Action, Object, and Experience

This dissertation seeks to complicate an understanding of the term “fantasy,” particularly as it differs from commodified, market-driven genre conventions. It argues that the fantastic represents departure, transformation, and alternative modes of thinking. The project examines major writings on fantasy and the fantastic, including works by writers such as Tzvetan Todorov, Farah Mendlesohn, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Tolkien. It concludes that the fantastic offers, as its primary function, not escapism or mere “flight of fancy,” as has often been claimed in the past, but transformation. This illustrates a cultural significance that reaches far beyond the realm of idle entertainment, providing inspiration and impetus to enact change in the material world.

2011    Master of Arts in English, Sonoma State University
Committee: Dr. Scott Miller (Chair), Sherril Jaffe
Creative Thesis: By Haft of Sword (Novel with critical introduction)

2008    Bachelor of Arts in English: Creative Writing, Sonoma State University, cum laude

2005    Associate of Arts in Journalism, College of the Sequoias

Research Interests

Rhetoric of the Fantastic; Rhetoric of Fiction and Creative Writing; Creative Pedagogy and Pedagogy of Play; New Media and Game Studies


Rick, David W., Ken S. McAllister, and Judd Ethan Ruggill. “Vector Graphics.” Encyclopedia of Computer Graphics and Games. Springer International Publishing, 11 Jan. 2016. Web. <http://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007%2F978-3-319-08234-9_54-1>

Academic Appointments

Graduate Associate in Teaching, Department of English, University of Arizona, 2012-2018.
ENG 101: First-Year Writing (12 sections)
ENG 102: First-year Writing (9 sections)
ENG 308: Technical Writing  (1 section, online)

Faculty, University of Phoenix (Visalia, CA Campus), Summer 2011.
COM 172: Elements of University Composition and Communication II  (1 section)
ENG 120: Business Literature (1 section)

Teaching Associate, Department of English, Sonoma State University, 2008-2010.
ENG 99: Basic Composition and Workshop (2 sections)

Administrative Experience
Assistant Writing Center Director, 2010-2011 (Director: Dr. Scott Miller)
WEPT Reader, Proctor, and Exam Supervisor, 2006-2011.

Writing Center Tutor and Lead Tutor, 2006-2011

Conference Presentations

2017    “Renegade Roles against the Single Story: Fantastical Rhetorics of Empowerment and Inclusion” Conference on College Composition and Communication. Portland, OR.

2016    “Phantasizing ARK: Rhetoric of the Fantastic in Contemporary Immersive Computer Games” New Directions Conference. Tucson, AZ.
“Reflections on the Discarded Self: Metonymic Parallax of the Virtual Avatar as a Curated Identity” SWPACA Conference. Albuquerque, NM.

2013    “Building Walls and Taking the Black: The Border Narrative of A Song of Ice and Fire” SWTX PCA/ACA Conference. Albuquerque, NM.

2010    “The Ink Tank! Test: Phenomenology of Risk-Free Student Publication” NCWCA Spring Conference. Burlingame, CA.

2009    “The Tutor Who Found a Moment” NCWCA Spring Conference. Santa Rosa, CA.

2008    “Puns, Metaphors, Analogies, Ferris Wheels, and Tilt-a-Whirls: Language Play in Writing Center Tutoring” NCWCA Spring Conference. Gilroy, CA.


University of Arizona

  • Volunteer, National Day on Writing 2012
  • Organizer and Presenter, SVR3 Symposium 2012
  • RCTE Program Peer Mentor, Fall 2013

Sonoma State University

  • Editor-in-chief, Ink Tank! student press (2007-2011)
  • Officer and event coordinator, English Students’ Association (2007-2011)
  • Officer and contributor, Writers’ Consortium (2007-2010)
  • Member and panel presenter, QSA (2006-2009)


2018    University of Arizona Patrick Fellowship