I basically owe my career to blogging…
Jen Russum Blog Research
Back in 2010, Micah and I moved to the Phoenix area so I could begin my PhD program at Arizona State University. I began my studies in Renaissance literature and started a blog on the side to keep up with friends and family around the world. A few months later, I had fallen in love with blogging and social media, and I changed my PhD concentration to writing, rhetorics, and literacies, so I could formally research digital writing and online spaces.
Essentially, I study how women are writing online and engaging in social media. My dissertation examined the ways female sewing bloggers and business owners in the handmade industry use digital tools for learning, activism, and entrepreneurship. In other words, I wrote 200 pages about Pinterest and Etsy, and my direct quotes came from Twitter. A thesis can be pretty daunting, but mine was actually fun to write!
I have been teaching for more than a decade at the secondary and post-secondary level. I am currently an Assistant Professor of English at Vanguard University and the Director of the Writing Center. I teach a variety of classes in composition and literature, including: first year composition, research writing, digital writing, literary perspectives, creative nonfiction, and advanced journalism. Teaching is one of my greatest joys, and I’m convinced my students teach me just as much as I teach them.