DEBI MARTIN, BJ, MA
QUALIFICATIONS and INTERESTS:
- Teaching nontraditional adult learners
- Integrating “soft skills” with technology in quality online courses to increase student engagement and retention
- Background as a crisis counselor and youth advocate has helped more than ever thought it would with establishing rapport, connection and boundaries with students having difficulty with keeping up with course work
- Experience as a professional writer translates to teaching hard-won lessons about making deadlines and facing fears
CURRENT TEACHING PRACTICE:
Adjunct Faculty, English, Austin Community College, a nationally recognized two-year college serving Central Texas. Teach hybrid and “live” at ACC’s Highland Campus, a repurposed shopping mall now a state-of-the-art facility for innovative teaching and learning.
- Except for the required textbook, created all course content — assignments, assessments and rubrics — for more than 25 hybrid sections of English 2311 “Technical and Business Writing,” which I began teaching summer 2015
- Completed courses on creating exceptional Blackboard classrooms and Distance Learning series
- Teach English 2311 as a workplace writing for the 21st century as a rhetoric and composition/writing in the disciplines course
- Teach English 2311 as a “flipped classroom,” emphasis is on project-based assignments and collaborative work — few lectures
- Provide digital literacy foundations for empowering student thinking/writing in the real world
Adjunct Faculty, English and Liberal Education, Park University. Have since the summer of 2014 taught all formats — face to face, online only and blended — for Park University, a non-profit private liberal college that specializes in offering courses for nontraditional adult students including veterans.
- Course designer for “Terrorism and the Media,” an interdisciplinary liberal arts capstone course that will be taught online starting Fall 2018
- Peer mentor to new English and Liberal Education faculty academic year 2017-2018
- Completed course in Canvas content management system at Park University — Summer 2015
- Completed course in best practices teaching online at Park University — October 2014
- Taught more than 20 courses including — “First Year Writing Seminar I: Critical Reading, Writing, and Thinking Across Contexts,” “First Year Writing Seminar II: Academic Research and Writing,” “Professional Writing in the Disciplines: Business Communication,” “Scientific and Technical Writing,” “Business Communications,” “Advanced Expository Research and Writing” and “Integrative and Interdisciplinary Learning Capstone: Terrorism and the Media.”
M.A. Rhetoric and Composition, December 2013, Texas State University at San Marcos
- Trained new tutors at The Writing Center at Texas State University at San Marcos. Observed and provided specific written and verbal constructive feedback and on working with English Language Learners in regard to non-directive versus directive methods
M.A. in American Studies, interdisciplinary American History and English, May 1999, The University of Texas at Austin
- Master’s Report: a social history/memoir on Houston’s Montrose area counterculture and the community’s creation of a halfway house for runaway youth in the 1970s
B.J., Bachelor of Journalism, May 1984, The University of Texas at Austin
- Jesse H. Jones, Texas Women’s Press Association, and LULAC scholarship recipient
PAST TEACHING EXPERIENCE:
2010 – 2014: “Tutor IV” in Learning Lab at Austin Community College (Round Rock location). Tutored nontraditional students from diverse backgrounds using College Learning and Reading Association certified methodologies designed to increase student retention and development of higher order learning strategies.
2009 – 2010. Adjunct Instructor, Journalism, Austin Community College. Taught “Introduction to Mass Communications” to give students a foundation for understanding mass media and the messages it transmits, particularly in a time of convergence. Covered dynamics that affect the messages the media transmit, historical development of all major media, and emphasized critical “reading” of content disseminated by media.
9/2000 – 8/2006. Adjunct Instructor, St. Edward’s University. Contract renewed for over five consecutive years, including summer sessions. Served as a McNair Scholar Mentor, supervised Honors Thesis and Independent Study in English/Journalism, and taught:
- “The American Experience,” (based on the PBS series of the same name), a core requirement on America’s multicultural history with a writing component
- “Magazine Journalism” for New College, St. Edward’s program for non-traditional, older-than-average students
- Proposed and taught Sociology/History/Journalism course on the Sixties Counterculture and the emergence of underground newspapers
- Initiated and taught “Cultural Foundations” course on The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
- Also briefly taught sections of “American Dilemmas,” an interdisciplinary course on writing about social issues and moral/ethical dilemmas, and other required interdepartmental freshmen survey courses “English Comp I” and “Intro to the Liberal Arts”
9/92 – 5/98 and 8/99-5/2000. Adjunct Instructor, Austin Community College
Contracted as a “MSTA” (Multiple Semester Term Appointment) for more than six years depending on my availability and department’s needs. Taught several sections of “Writing Skills II” designed for students inadequately prepared to enroll in English Composition I. Covered primary compositional modes, the writing process, grammar, spelling, punctuation, editing and proofreading, critical thinking, journaling, and academic research documentation styles.
PROFESSIONAL WRITING EXPERIENCE AND PUBLICATIONS:
9/90-present: Independent Writer/Blogger/Content Provider/Social Media Ghostwriter www.debimartin.com. More than 25 years as a professional feature writer and journalist for print and online publications. Current focus: creative nonfiction and memoir.
- Wrote feature articles for McCall’s, The Houston Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, Civilization (formerly the magazine for the Library of Congress), American Way (in-flight for American Airlines), Austin Chronicle (an alternative weekly), The American News Service, a Knight-Ridder distributed national wire service that specialized in news stories on solutions to social problems, and The Advocate
- For McCall’s from 1994 to 2001 covered: survivors of the Oklahoma City Bombing and Jonesboro, Arkansas school shooting, heroin addiction, child custody disputes, grieving the murder of a child, and the impact of inadequate treatment for the mentally ill on communities
- Transitioned into 21st-century media as a website “content provider” and paid blogger for variety of outlets including noofanglemedia.com, and consultant/ghost-blogger for variety of clients; maintained own blog for more than 7 years: www.austindogandcat.com for “Austinites who love their pets like family.”
8/91-11/91: Associate Editor, Austin Texas Magazine. Sharpened editorial focus and helped create departments for planned city magazine never published due to lack of funding and local economic downturn. Work as an editor with freelance writers lead to love of teaching.
2/91-8/91: Associate Editor, Texas Medicine Magazine, Associate Editor. Wrote cover stories and edited law and medical economics departments, supervised work of freelance writers, at AMA-affiliate the Texas Medical Association.
6/87-9/90: Lifestyle Feature Writer, the Austin American-Statesman. Conceived, researched and wrote magazine-style feature stories long and short on wide range of human-interest topics for the cover of the Sunday “Lifestyle” section. Specialized in profiles, social trends, psychological health issues, self-help and personal essays.
10/82-6/87: Arts & Entertainment Feature Writer/Columnist, the Austin-American Statesman. Covered dance, pop music, and experimental art as a news beat. Wrote features, reviews, advances of upcoming show, celebrity profiles. Covered Madonna’s first tour! Interviewed elusive Joni Mitchell.
1980 – 1982: Various freelance writing positions. Wrote feature articles for Breakthrough, the Austin Chronicle and The Daily Texan, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
American Society of Journalists and Authors, http://www.asja.org, exclusive New York-based advocacy organization that offers networking opportunities and professional development. Entry requirements include peer review, editor references, and professional publishing track record.
- Member since 1999; served on several committees, including mentoring, Editor-Writer Liaison, Publications (newsletter and web) and 2002 conference committee. Moderator at 2002 annual conference in New York City at Grand Central Hyatt. Panelist, “What Do Women Magazine Editors Want?” at 2001 conference, also at Grand Central Hyatt National Council of Teachers of English, http://www.ncte.org/
RELATED WORK EXPERIENCE:
1981-1982: Crisis Hotline Counselor, University of Texas at Austin Telephone Counseling and Referral Service. Counseled students dealing with variety of serious concerns, including thoughts of suicide but more commonly feelings of isolation and confusion about love and definition of the self. Made appropriate referrals to college and community resources for long-term assistance and support.
1980-1981: Youth Advocate, Family Connection, Inc./Houston Metropolitan Ministries. Houston, Texas. Worked one year full-time in crisis intervention at halfway-house for runaways from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds. Caseload typically five youngsters all under age 17. Helped them explore options using “reality therapy” approach. Worked with family counselor to help youth return home. If that was not an option, worked with child welfare authorities to place youth in independent living and/or enroll in GED classes. Mentored youth on how to hold a job, work toward a goal, and rise above life situation. Regular shift work included cooking dinner for 15 teenagers, answering the hotline phone, facilitating group therapy, breaking up fights between residents, doling out generous helpings of “tough love,” enforcing “the rules” with tact and compassion.
1978-1980: Peer Advisor, College of Liberal Arts, University of Texas at Austin. Helped Liberal Arts majors and “undetermined” majors make sure they were making timely progress towards their degrees by taking required courses, advised on adds/drops and withdrawal procedures, and basically helped them navigate big state university bureaucracy.
Summer 1979: Orientation Advisor, University of Texas at Austin. Helped pre-freshmen learn the ins and outs of registration, navigate big state university bureaucracy, and become “oriented” to college life.
1977-1978: Youth Advocate, Sanddollar, Inc. Houston, Texas. Youth Advocate. Same job description as above under “Family Connection.” 1976-1977: Dance Teacher, YMCA, Houston, Texas. Taught dance at performing arts summer camp for economically disadvantaged African-American youth.
TALKS, WORKSHOPS, SERVICE:
- Panelist/Judge, June Roth Award for Medical Writing. American Society of Journalists and Authors, April 2017.
- Panelist/Judge, First Personal Essay, American Society of Journalists and Authors, April 2016.
- Awarded National Council of Teachers of English Professional Equity Project Grant (PEP), created to support the concerns of part-time and adjunct faculty, such as improving working conditions and promoting the scholarship of teaching, and to attend annual Conference on College Composition and Communication, April 2016.
- Judge, Writers’ League of Texas, Manuscript Contest, Narrative Nonfiction, 2010
- Nonfiction reader/panelist, Nebraska Arts Council writing fellowship, 2009
- Panelist, “Freelance Writing: Tales from the Front,” Writers’ League of Texas, 2008
- Speaker, “Voter Education and Merchandising the Hip-Hop Way,” at Center for Black Business History, Entrepreneurship and Technology at UT Austin, 2005
- Speaker, Barnes & Noble, Westlake. Writers’ League of Texas. “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Feature Writing and Freelancing,” 2002
- Master of Ceremonies at Writers-Reading Book Tent, Texas Book Festival, 2001
- Panelist, “Women Writing Creative Nonfiction,” “The Art of the Interview and the Elusive Truth” and “How to Stick to the Truth: The Ethics of Creative Nonfiction.” Exploring the Creative In Nonfiction, Texas Writers’ League Conference, Austin, Texas, 2001
- Speaker. “Race, Class and Gender Issues in the Newsroom,” Professor George Sylvie’s University of Texas Senior Journalism class on “Minorities and the Media.” 2000, 2001
- Austin Writers’ League. Taught two sections of writing workshop: “Breaking Into Magazines Is Hard To Do,” 1999
- Panelist, “Media Ethics” at The Pulitzer Series Seminar, sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists, Austin Pro Chapter, The University of Texas School of Journalism, 1998
- Austin chapter of Society for Professional Journalists: Mentored feature writers from small town newspapers during workshops and coordinated fund-raiser for Freedom of Information Act during 3-day National Writers’ Workshop for professionals presented by several major Texas newspapers at Austin Hyatt Hotel
- Various talks on the writing process and breaking into freelance journalism to a variety of groups including elementary students, high school journalism classes, Daily Texan staffers, Society of Professional Journalists (Student Chapter), UT Journalism Student Division classes