Teaching & Writing

Philosophy & Focus

Teaching Philosophy

As a professional and creative writer influenced by my experience in academic and corporate environments (while also completing the Master of Arts in Writing), I have established a teaching style that combines lecture presentation, guided practice, and encouraged collaboration. In addition, my experiences as an African American woman journeying through various settings has solidified the importance of supporting and fostering diversity and equity when it comes to learning. Therefore, I also incorporate this importance for understanding intercultural and varied perspectives into the presentation of professional communication and writing lectures. Finally, because of my background in creative writing, I consider myself an advocate for the creativity in professional writing and the professionalism of creative writing, which influences my teaching as well.

Education & Preparation

I graduated from the University of North Alabama with a Master of Arts in Writing in May of 2021. Because of my passion for poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, I chose Creative Writing as my concentration. At the same time, I also recognized the value of professional writing, taking multiple courses in technical & professional writing, despite the fact that this nearly doubled my time in graduate school. I am currently working at Purdue University as a Visiting Clinical Instructor of Professional Writing. My teaching focus for the 2021-2022 academic year is instructing students on the practice and theory of professional and technical writing.

Creative Writing

During my studies towards the Master of Arts in Writing (with a concentration in creative writing), most of my early work consisted of various forms of poetry (bop poetry, golden shovel poetry,  villanelle, and prose poetry). Towards the middle of my studies, I was introduced to Southern Gothic literature and realized my favorite short fiction works that I'd completed were very much in that genre. Thus, I spent the end of my studies writing a collection of southern gothic short stories for my final thesis, titled The Creek City Chronicles, which I successfully defended on April 20, 2021.

MA Thesis Presentation: The Creek City Chronicles

For my Master of Arts in Writing Thesis Defense, I presented a collection of short stories based in the fictional town of Creek City, Alabama. It spans multiple generations and characters and would be best categorized as a Southern Gothic collection. Creek City is very loosely inspired by my hometown of Tuskegee, Alabama. For those who are not familiar, Southern Gothic is a genre of fiction set in American Southern locales that use the idea of "the monster" to confront the ugly and evil issues that have plagued the South. These can include racism, misogyny, homophobia, and more. A class example is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston. 

Professional Writing Interests

Professional communication, data story telling and visualization, white paper creation, professional branding and presentation, grant writing, technical writing, multimodal communication, soundwriting, and the history of writing technologies. 

Research Interests

Writing and literacy theories; literacy, culture, and language education; language barriers and prohibitors; impact of creative writing on overall academic success. 

Creative Writing Thesis Defense

Regarding a creative writing project, the thesis defense is more of a conversation. Instead of field inspection related to a research project, the graduate student responds to questions and thoughts provoked by the work they have presented, while being prepared to explain their writing process and creative influences.

Alison Caddell Thesis Defense Invitation.jpg