Work background, speaking, publishing, and tools and methods that inform my work.

Work Background

See LinkedIn for more details or Academic CV for full academic resume

Drawbridge, Inc

Co-founder, VP of Product Development and Design / 2011 – present
I co-founded this company with my colleagues at Michigan State University, with Eli Review as the flagship product. My role at Drawbridge is to manage day-to-day operations with existing products, help develop new ideas for products, and find other businesses to add to our portfolio. Responsibilities include:

  • Evaluate new products for potential acquisition into company portfolio
  • Network potential partners and pitch opportunities for collaboration
  • Consult for other companies who need help in the educational technology market
  • Perform market research and competitive analysis for new product concepts and potential acquisitions

Eli Review (full case study)

Co-Inventor, Head of Product / 2014 – present
I launched this product with my co-inventors in 2010 as the first product for Drawbridge, Inc. It became a fully commercial product in 2014, at which time I took on a full-time leadership role. I keep the product functional and stable, design and oversee the development of new features, and provide customer support across multiple channels. Responsibilities include:

  • Write detailed requirements with stakeholders for each development initiative, including user stories, feature lists, and success metrics
  • Build user interfaces new interfaces as needed, from prototypes to functional code
  • Oversee team of developers responsible for building new features and routine, ongoing maintenance
  • Create documentation and tutorial content for internal and external audiences
  • Respond to customer support requests from users across multiple channels
  • Lead product demos for prospective clients
  • Write and publish a range of marketing materials (social media, video content, print, etc)

Materials: see all case studies and writing samples related to Eli Review

Michigan State University

Adjunct Professor / 2007 – present
I have taught courses to undergraduate and graduate students as a fixed-term faculty member at Michigan State University for more than ten years. I have also served on curriculum committees and helped develop brand new courses. My student evaluations are consistently excellent and my programmatic teaching evaluations have lead to consistent merit-based raises. Courses taught (with official descriptions):

  • Writers Workshop (AL 201) – Development of writing skills involved in learning and in thinking about and critically reading complex texts.
  • Introduction to Web Authoring (WRA 210) – Analyzing, evaluating, and authoring Web sites. Principles of design rhetoric. Practices of Web accessibility.
  • Advanced Web Authoring (WRA 410) – Developing and maintaining large-scale, interactive Web sites. Visual design, usability, audio and video integration, ongoing site management, and web accessibility.
  • Digital Rhetoric (WRA 415) – Rhetorical, social, political, economic, and ethical dimensions of electronic writing and publishing. Rhetorical dynamics of computer-mediated writing spaces such as the Internet, World Wide Web, e-mail, and synchronous chat.
  • Content Management (WRA 420) – Applied theory and best practices for content management. Single-source publishing for digital and online formats. Managing dynamic and distributed content production. Issues in digital writing, technical editing, and intellectual property.
  • Interaction Design (WRA 482) – Design of information systems for professional writers. Pitching ideas. Developing information and interfaces. User-centered design lifecycle. Activity analysis, object-oriented modeling, prototyping, and technical specifications, and implementation planning.

Case Study: See my sample teaching materials from Content Management (WRA 420)

Special Interest Group on the Design of Communications (SIGDOC)

Board of Directors, Website Manager / 2016 – 2017
In this role as a board member of this professional academic organization, I served as a bridge between academia and industry. I advised the other board on many issues of industry outreach and engagement. Most importantly, I was responsible for safeguarding the organization’s online assets and managing its websites. Responsibilities included:

  • Audited content spanning almost ten years of an online presence
  • Developed and implemented a content strategy for publications and conferences
  • Organized archival information and developed shared online drives
  • Identified and addressed security issues and vulnerabilities in existing WordPress sites
  • Automated many maintenance tasks, including regular WordPress backups
  • Wrote comprehensive documentation for maintenance and sustainability

Case Study: the full story of my work to make maintain SIGDOC’s websites and make that work sustainable

Red Cedar Solutions Group

User Experience Designer / 2011 – 2013
In this role at Red Cedar Solutions Group, I primarily contributed to contract projects with the Department of Education for the State of Michigan. I worked to improve the experiences of existing systems, design specifications, and interfaces for new systems. Responsibilities included:

  • Lead user research, including stakeholder interviews and contextual inquiry
  • Wrote detailed requirements for approval by all stakeholders
  • Created detailed design documents, including wireframes, comps, interactive prototypes
  • Developed and test navigation and accessibility of new systems
  • Lead cognitive walkthroughs with stakeholders
  • Conducted usability and iterative testing with developers

Writing Rhetoric and American Cultures, Michigan State University

Website Manager, Intern Coordinator / 2010-2012
I was hired to completely overhaul of the Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures (WRAC) Department website, with an eye toward better marketing its program to undergraduates. Part of what I ended up doing was only tangentially related to the website, rather for the culture of the program, which had no presence on social media. This initiative resulted in a sustainable, long-term programmatic change where, more than five years later, the department still has a vibrant and active website and social media presence.

  • Developed extensive communication strategy (subjects, voice, etc), still in use
  • Rebranded all department content, bringing it inline with university brand standards
  • Rebuilt the department website inside a content management system (WordPress)
  • Wrote extensive documentation for maintenance and upkeep of all assets
  • Created an internship program dedicated to running the department’s social accounts
  • Managed first batches of interns and developed management and evaluation metods

Writing in Digital Environments Research Center, Michigan State University

User Experience Researcher / 2007 – 2011
I was the lead designer and developer on projects that required creation of new technology to support instructional or research goals. My project work resulted in multiple prototypes, publications, and a company (Drawbridge, Inc) which then spun out of the university to commercialize the knowledge and IP we created. Responsibilities included:

  • Lead the design process for experimental projects (invention, iterative design, agile development)
  • Built functional prototypes, doing both front and back-end engineering
  • Conducted user research, including contextual inquiry and ethnography
  • Conducted usability testing, including extensive iterative development based on feedback
  • Engaged in scholarly research, including publications and presentations to share work with colleagues and community

Case Study: see the community-centered research project “Archive 2.0 and the Samaritans

Speaking (selected)

  • VideoTeachers vs Robots: Information Architecture and Assistive Artificial Intelligence – Information Architecture Summit, March 2017
  • SlidesBalancing the How of Digital Tools with the Why When Designing Technology-Heavy Writing Courses  (with Dawn Opel), Computers & Writing, May 2017
  • SlidesBetter Learning Technologies: Taking Action to Reframe #edtech Development for Writers and Writing Teachers (with Bill Hart-Davidson and Melissa Meeks) – College Conference on Composition and Communication, April 2016
  • Slides – Designing for Learning: A Critique of Academic Software User Experience – Ignite UX Michigan, October 2014

Publishing (selected)

Tools, Skills, and Methods

Tech and Tools

  • Front-end development: HTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery, libraries and frameworks
  • Back-end development: PHP, MySQL, Apache, AWS
  • Versioning and other tools: Git, GitHub, Jira
  • Platforms: Cloudflare, Alert Logic, Filestack, WordPress/CMS
  • Design Tools: Adobe Suite, Omnigraffle, Sketch, Final Cut Pro, Camtasia
  • Prototyping: Keynote, Balsamiq, Sketch, Figma
  • Social + Search: Yoast, Hootsuite, Mailchimp, Canva
  • Analytics: Zoho CRM, Google Analytics, Twitter Analytics,  Facebook Page Insights


  • Research: competitive analysis, card sorting, contextual inquiry, user stories
  • Demonstration: sketching, wireframes, comps, storyboards, workflow diagrams
  • Validation: heuristic evaluation, task analysis, A/B testing
  • Assessment: accessibility evaluation, usability testing
  • Documentation: user guides, tutorials, video, screenshots


Michigan State University

MA, Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing / 2007

MA, Critical Studies in Literacy and Pedagogy / 2005

Lake Superior State University

BA, English Language and Literature / 2002