Assistant Professor of the Practice; Director of First-Year Writing
Denise Comer, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Writing Studies and Director of First-Year Writing at Duke University, has over fifteen years of experience teaching first-year writing students the strategies, confidence, and skills they need to be successful writers in and beyond the academy. Her leadership, collaboration, and innovation designing first-year writing courses and training first-year writing faculty have helped earn Duke University’s Thompson Writing Program national recognition with the 2006 CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence and the 2012 U.S. News & World Report, which commended Duke for “making the writing process a priority at all levels of instruction and across the curriculum.” She has led several initiatives for Duke and the Durham community that demonstrate her investment teaching writing to all learners: launching a writing course for students who need more time and preparation with college-level writing, many of whom are first-generation/low-income; integrating responsiveness to English Language Learners across all first-year writing courses; developing writing workshops for low-income, high-potential urban middle-school children; and creating a writing-based program for chronically and fatally ill children staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Durham. Prior to Duke, she taught writing for public universities, community colleges, and a military base. Her scholarship explores writing pedagogy, writing program administration, and the intersections between technology and the teaching of writing. She has published a guide for dissertation writing (co-authored with Barbara Gina Garrett): It’s Just a Dissertation: Transforming Your Dissertation from Daunting to Doable to Done (Fountainhead Press, 2014). She also has a textbook forthcoming that features a transfer-based, multidisciplinary approach to writing, Writing in Transit (Fountainhead Press, 2015).