McMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

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Meet...Laura Micciche

Laura Micciche, assistant professor of English and comparative literature, brings a novel approach to all of her courses--from English composition to rhetoric to graduate seminars.

Date: 2/18/2005
By: Billie Dziech
Phone: 513/556.1707
Laura Micciche, assistant professor of English and comparative literature, brings a novel approach to all of her courses--from English composition to rhetoric to graduate seminars. Employing what she terms “a practical and civil perspective,” she introduces real world relevancy into her classes. “I think it's important that students are able to generate ideas and compose thoughtfully,” she explains. “They need to read and consume the ideas around them within some sort of critical framework and to write about them coherently because writing skills are absolutely essential to participating in the construction of our culture.”

During the fall quarter, Micciche taught her English 101 courses using politics from the presidential election as a springboard to tackle issues. She credits this approach to her own graduate school experience: “I took a course designed to help TA's learn how to teach writing. This was my first exposure to the study of teaching and to the field of rhetoric and composition, and I was hooked. I found discussions about how best to teach writing and about the significance of teaching writing in a democracy extremely compelling. The importance of literacy training to a functioning democracy was something that I had never really thought about, so to be presented with this idea in graduate school was a real revelation. It made me think about the lager significance of what we're all doing in education.”

A native of Canton, Ohio, Micciche found the opportunity to work in Cincinnati something of a homecoming. After receiving her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she spent five years as an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. But the position at UC meant she could return to her home state so that her nine- month-old son Giovanni would have extended family within a short distance and she could teach in a more urban, culturally vibrant setting.

She looks forward to indulging a variety of interests. One is participating in the community by engaging her students in activities like service learning. She hopes to have them produce written documents for non-profits so that she and they can help to establish connections between the university and the urban area. This is not to say she's indifferent to the city's lighter attractions, however. Having arrived in August, Micciche is still exploring Cincinnati and, as a participant of the 2001 San Diego Marathon, eagerly awaiting the next Flying Pig Marathon.

For now though her most ambitious undertaking is completing her book, Emotion, Culture, and Composition Studies. The result of extensive research, it promises to be a unique work that expresses Micciche's concern about the historical devaluation of emotion, despite the significance of emotional investment in linking humans together in communities.

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