Monday, December 3, 2012

SNL Welcomes New Writing Instructor, Kamilah Cummings

I am honored to join DePaul and SNL. I cannot believe that had a former colleague not forwarded me an email announcing the position for a writing instructor at SNL, I probably would have never heard of the school. Yet, I cannot think of a better place for me to be at this stage of my career.

I have always been intrigued by the power of communication regardless of the medium, and I believe that writing is one of the most powerful ways to communicate. After graduating from Columbia College with a bachelor’s degree in Arts, Entertainment and Media Management, I began entertainment writing for a variety of publications and clients. I continued to work as an editor and writer for a number of years moving from entertainment writing to investigative writing and everything between. Because of this, I decided to return to school where I received a master’s degree in journalism from Roosevelt University.
While earning my degree, I taught for the Chicago Public Schools, primarily at Morgan Park High School. I fell in love with the possibilities for learning and communicating that teaching offered, but felt constrained by the rigor of CPS teaching. Therefore, after earning my degree from Roosevelt, I began teaching college writing.  I have taught college writing I and II, critical thinking, and developmental writing courses at a variety of schools in non-profit and for-profit settings including East-West University, Saint Xavier University, Morton College, and University of Phoenix Online. Through my experiences at these diverse institutions, I have come to enjoy teaching nontraditional students. I find that these students inspire me and constantly reignite my passion for teaching.
Prior to joining SNL, I was as a full-time English instructor at Westwood College for four and half years. One of the things that most excites me about SNL following my experience at Westwood is the focus on student learning and faculty development. The goals of the school appear to be focused on providing students with a quality, transformational educational experience that will benefit them beyond the classroom. My teaching philosophy is guided by that principle, so I could not be happier to join a group of faculty and administrators who share this belief.
When Dean Alicea quoted bell hooks during my interview and stated that she believed in “an ethic of care” in teaching, I knew that SNL was where I belonged. Having come from what felt like a quantity-over-quality, sweatshop approach to education, it is refreshing to return to the type of educational philosophy that I benefitted from throughout my years of education. 

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