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Meet New Faculty Member...Brandy Brown

English, Theatre, and Foreign Languages
Brandy Brown

Dr. Brandy Brown, who hails from Aberdeen, Washington, joins the department this year as Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Writing Center. She holds an associate’s degree from Grays Harbor College, a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from Minnesota State University Mankato, and a master’s and doctorate in English—concentration in Composition and Rhetoric—from UNC Greensboro.

Dr. Brown’s journey through the academy has been one of evolution and discovery: 
“I loved being involved in theatre, but by the end of my degree I knew I did not want to make it my career. Having had great English teachers at community college, who were also involved with theatre projects, I figured teaching English at the community college level would be right for me.”

Her time at Grays Harbor College was particularly formative, marking “the best part of [her] undergraduate education.” She elaborates, “My theatre experience, film class, art classes, history and sociology, they all challenged me, taught me to think, and to be open to new people and experiences.” When it came time to choose a graduate program, she recalls, “I began my MA at UNCG because it was one of the few Master’s level programs where I had to opportunity to get teaching experience at a community college during my program. When I finished my MA, I didn’t feel like I was done learning about composition and rhetoric, so I applied and stayed at UNCG for my doctoral work.”

At UNC Greensboro, Dr. Brown focused her studies on “feminist rhetorics, critical theory, and American pragmatism”: “My favorite thing about this [field of study] is how it helped me understand my how my personal experience shapes my perspective of the world. It gave me language to talk about, and analyze, how I felt and fit in the world.” Dr. Brown is excited to share with students her passion for rhetoric:

“I wish people understood just how helpful it can be to think critically about the world around us,” she says, “and, about composition, I wish more people would understand that writing is a skill that is in constant development. It develops over our lifetime, and requires consistent practice.”

She “wants students to understand that there is no magical ‘good writer,’ who has mastered every writing task. By the time we get truly good at writing in one context, the situation shifts and we have to adapt and develop new writing skills.” Her primary goal then is to have them “think of themselves as adaptable and practicing writers, who work to produce clear writing.”

Dr. Brown’s enthusiasm for her work does not keep her from engaging in a variety of hobbies, including reading, cooking, baking, spending time with her dogs, and watching movies and television. “Baking,” she says, “is most often what I will turn to for stress relief.” Among her favorite authors right now are Tana French and Jonathan Maberry, which reflects her not-so-secret-love for “detective novels and post-apocalyptic zombie fiction.” “French’s Dublin Murder Squad series of novels are wonderful,” she observes, “detective fiction at its finest.”

She continues, “Maberry has several different series, but I was drawn to him through the Joe Ledger novels, starting with Patient Zero. They are sarcastic, violent, and not for everyone, but I love the way Maberry uses existing science and technology as the basis for the evils and challenges his heroes face. Also, I enjoy following him on Twitter because he often posts about his own writing, talking about his deadlines, daily word counts, etc. It is powerful when published and professional writers take the time to make clear the work that goes into their craft.”

But even the most voracious of readers struggles to finish some readings: “I can’t think of something I haven’t read,” she muses, “but for the life of me, I cannot finish The Brother’s Karamazov.”

When asked what she’s found most helpful as she settles into a new routine at UNCP, Dr. Brown answers “everyone,” but when pressed she focuses on the students:

“As a writing center director, I work closely with the student consultants in the center. They have been incredible at making me feel welcome and helping me to adapt to this new place. Also, the students in my Composition and Writing Center Theory and Practice classes have been wonderful. They are interesting, ready to learn, and patient with me as we all get through our first semester here.”