Skip to main content

Student Spotlight: Ting, PhD in Teaching & Curriculum

Graduate Student Appreciation Week Student Spotlight: Ting, PhD in Teaching & Curriculum

Ting, originally from Shandong, China, came to the Warner School of Education to pursue her PhD in teaching and & curriculum. 
Why teaching and curriculum?
Having worked as a full-time TESOL teacher and received my master's degree in applied linguistics, I became curious about the conditions for upward mobility in the teaching and learning of academic communications in English as an additional language (EAL). After joining the Warner School, I realized that this topic is significant not only to EAL users in my home country but also to those who need to engage with diverse audiences in academic communication.  
Why Warner?
The Warner School is home to top researchers in curriculum and instruction. Among them is my doctoral advisor Dr. Mary Jane Curry, who is recognized nationally and internationally for her esteemed research in multilingual scholars' academic knowledge production practices, a research avenue that inspires me. 
What have you enjoyed most about Warner?
I truly enjoyed Warner's emphasis on growing us as breakthrough researchers and practitioners. With Prof. Curry, I have co-authored a book and published two articles in top journals. I have also collaborated with Warner alumni to plan the NYS TESOL Applied Linguistics Winter Conference in Rochester. It was an honor and pleasure to represent the Warner School through these works and events. Moreover, through my work on these projects, I developed strong research writing and project management skills that I have been able to apply to other projects.     
What was your experience as a book coauthor?
It was a wonderful experience collaborating with this fantastic team on the book An A to W of Academic Literacy: Key Concepts and Practices for Graduate Students (2021). Prof. Curry's belief in our potential and ability made this work possible. We started in the format of a research apprenticeship and persisted with the next semester's work. One thing that was both challenging and stimulating to me is that, as a team, we asked each other questions that had no set answer. We collaboratively worked out the answers through tireless research. I am proud that we were able to deliver a high-quality product on time and received good feedback from our readers, including graduate students, writing tutors, and professors. I find the insight developed through writing this book helpful for my teaching, too. 
What has been your role with Writing Support Services?
I served as the coordinator of the Warner School’s Writing Support Services (WSS) from 2018-21, and I am currently a writing consultant. We offer an average of approximately 300 consulting sessions and seven serial workshops in the spring and fall semesters. As Bourdieu and Passeron (1995) point out, "academic language is no one's mother tongue." I am glad to have been able to use my expertise in academic literacy education to support our graduate students' adaptations to the complex academic demands of disciplinary reading and writing. Our current coordinator, Xiatinghan Xu, is taking WSS in a great direction. Writing groups will be available soon to meet the demands of the increasingly diverse Warner community. 
What is the focus of your dissertation?
My dissertation study focuses on the reflective practice of instructors who teach English for Academic Purposes (EAP). Drawing on data gathered both locally and globally, this research will provide implications for EAP educators who work in precarious work conditions as well as those who are seeking pathways to professional growth and well-being. 
What’s next for you?
I will be working as a postdoctoral research associate at a nearby institution in the fall. I am excited about the prospect of using my knowledge and skills developed through the teaching and curriculum program at Warner to serve colleagues and students in this new environment.